NARI trains 20 extension workers, farmers

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By Saidou Baldeh

 

The National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) has commenced the training of at least twenty extension workers and farmers on gaps on rice production in Sapu.

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The NARI programme director, Dr. Demba Jallow said the training was meant to enhance the extension workers and farmers’ knowledge on rice growing and seeds.

Jallow said rice remains the most important staple cereal crop in the Gambia.

“The evidence is due to the increased in annual per capita consumption of the staple and imports which are growing at the fastest rate compared to local production, in order to satisfy the increasing demand,” he said.

DG Jallow said “unfortunately, there is a production gap and import bill are continuing to increase. This will represent a huge drain on national budget and a lost opportunity for our farmers.”

“In addition, the need for the costly import would decrease if local rice production and quality of milled and parboiled rice were enhanced. In this case the monies spend on rice importation would have been injected to other section of the economy,” he said.

He said the Gambia government has identified rice as a major food security crop and has developed NRDS for 2014 – 2024 , founded on a vision of RSS with a production target of more than 300, 000 of milled rice by 2024.

“The role of research is key in the transformation of the rice sector. It is very important because improvement in rice productive is crucial for reducing poverty and achieving other development objective,” he said.

NARI, in its contribution to RSS and to food security in The Gambia has in partnership with the CG Centres such African rice, tested many high yielding improve rice variety such as NERICAs, African and most recently the orylux 6 and NERICAs 19.

“Finally, the various ways that raising outputs and productivity will be accompanied by promoting and supporting the use of yield enhancing technologies and GAP,” he added.

Dr. Lamin B sonko, programme director cropping system at NARI, said the training is very important for the trainees.

“The Gambia government and NARI are ready to help the project achieve its goals. This is not the first time we are doing this training and it will help the trainees to know more about the project,” he said.

He called the farmers to collaborate with the NARI project coordinator for the successful complexion of the project.