AFRICARICE Pledges Support to Agriculture Sector

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The Country Director of Africa Rice, Dr.Inoussa Akintayo, has promised to provide support to farmers.

This, according to the AFRICARICE Country Director, will help to improve the agriculture sector in the production food.

Mr. Akintayo, making the promise recently in Gbaedin, Nimba County, where 164 hectares of seed rice was cultivated, said the day has come for food production in Liberia.

He stressed that as long as he remains the country director for AFRICARICE in Liberia, he will work with farmers to produce more seed rice so that they (farmers) can have an abundance for planting.

He also emphasized the significance of lowland development and promised to support the venture so as to register its importance to local farmers.

“We will continue to rely on the knowhow of Dokodan Cooperative and other qualified farmer groups in the country to produce certified seed from foundation seed to meet our national seed requirements and probably export,” he said.

The occasion at which Dr. Akintayo spoke was a symbolic harvest ceremony organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP).

Outlining the varieties of seed rice grown by the Gbaedin farmers and others, the AfricaRice Country Director named NERICA, ARICA and Aromatic varieties as those planted by the Dokodan Cooperative.

Besides Gbaedin, Dr. Akintayo said a similar project is in Kpatawee, Bong County, where several tons of NERICA planted upland rice has been processed and are awaiting distribution to farmers.

He lauded BRAC and FED for their contributions in producing certified seed rice in the country, noting that it will be ungrateful on his part if he does not acknowledge them.

In order to sustain and supply certified seed rice to farmers, the AFRICARICE Country Director said efforts are ongoing at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Gbarnga, Bong County, to produce more.

He stressed the need for the production of more rice in Africa and emphasized that it has the biggest market on the continent.

He said as a result of high demand of the commodity and low productivity on the continent, billions of US dollars leave to go to other countries each year for the purchase of rice.

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