December 1, 2017
The China-Aid Agricultural Technical Cooperation Team, under the Chinese government grant is on a steady drive to promote and increase rice and maize production for local farmers within Ogoo farm, Lumley, Newton, Bo district and other places across the country.
The technical cooperation undertaken by the Chinese Agricultural Team focuses on imparting modern agricultural science and technology for agricultural technicians and local farmers in order to improve on grain output.
ZHAO Feng, Head of Team, said they have already commenced a demonstration farm of rice and corn which would cover 500 hectares and approximately benefit 2000 household within their operational areas.
Mr. ZHAO revealed that, they have introduced two varieties of Chinese rice, Guangliangyou-476 and Jinyou-39 varieties.
He explained that the total quantity of the two varieties were 13 tons, which he said are now available for large scale promotion.
He said the two varieties can be cultivated on about 570 hectares of land with an average yield of 3.5 tons per hectare.
He continued that a test data has shown that the highest output would be 5.79 tons, citing that, Bo district, which is the main promotion area, has recorded an average yield of 4.6 tons per hectare.
Mr. ZHAO maintained that they have also introduced two varieties of corns, Xinghuangdan-206 and Xinghuangdan-999 varieties for which planting test have demonstrated high yield with a size and weight of individual corn hitting the country’s record.
He noted that the economic benefit per acre would surpass Le 3million.
He pointed out that through the project, the Chinese government has assisted the government of Sierra Leone with 120 tons of compound fertilizers, 50 tons of urea and several pesticides and agricultural machinery.
He said they were also giving out to the Bo community 10 set of biogas equipment as a renewable energy source which is environment-friendly to help some residents solve the energy problem.
Steven Fallah, the head of the local farmers within Ogoo farm community, west of Freetown, said the support from the Chinese Agricultural Team has helped them greatly to improve production.
He said they don’t now only produce rice for their immediate family, but they also have the capacity to sell to the local market. Mr. Fallah noted that they were farming on a 50 acres land and with the new Chinese rice they would now be able to plant twice a year which would not only provide food for them, but the entire community as well.
Mr. Fallah, who has spent 25 years farming in the Ogoo Farm community noted that, they have received seedlings, fertilizers, machines, pesticides and other support from the Chinese to help boost their work as farmers.