February 26, 2015
Communication Officer of the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Centre (SLARI), Richard Bockarie, has briefed Concord Times’ FOCUS ON AGRICULTURE on the operations of rice hub in the country.
“In vital areas of food production and consumption rice crop is important and taking a lead role among all other crops in Sierra Leone. Its insufficiency can lead to social, political and economic instability,” he said.
Mr. Bockarie noted that rice can generate and enhance social interactions, stability and prosperity for all, and that government’s agenda for achieving national food security, commercialisation in the agricultural sector and bringing prosperity for all can hardly be achieved without consciously developing the rice hub section in the country.
“Vast areas of land have different ecologies for growing rice in Sierra Leone and upland, inland valley swamps (IVS), riverian grassland, boli land are very much vital in rice production,” he said.
The production of Sierra Leone’s leading staple food crop unquestionably is a serious herculean task, and one of the challenges that impede rice production in the country is that farmers across the country are way behind in adopting best cultivation practices to increase rice yields, Bockarie said.
“Farmers are constrained to go by the country’s National Rice Development Strategy in producing enough rice that will be profitable to Sierra Leone,” he added.