By Tamba Tengbeh
In bid to increase on rice production in the country, farmers in Torma have joined the Regional Rice Value Chain Project in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to continue with on-going harvest of various rice fields cultivated in Torma Bum, Bum Chiefdom, Bonthe district through two agribusiness companies the project is partnering with Commercial Agro and Global Hub.
The Project Coordinator of Regional Rice Value Chain Project in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Abdulai Bun Wia, reiterated that the essence of the meeting and symbolic harvesting was to bringing journalists from both the electronic and print media to Torma Bum to showcase what the project has done so far, and to dispel rumours about the project on social media.
The Project Coordinator of Regional Rice Value Chain Project, Abdulai Bun Wia informed his gathering that the rice value chain implementation model has been divided into five segments the seed\fertilizers\agro chemicals, paddy production, rice mill, marketing and access to finance since each segment depends on the other for the successful implementation of the rice value chain including participation of the active players and the farmers. He added that the project would irrigate 4000 hectares of farmland in Torma Bum to increase the cropping period and eventually enable vegetable production.
Mr. Bun Wai disclosed that, 3000 hectares of rice fields have been cultivated in Torma Bum for this year’s cropping season, and the reason for the symbolic harvesting was for people to understand that the project management unit is working tirelessly to produce rice, albeit the challenges, noting that the project has registered over 4000 farmers both in Torma Bum and Kambia district in order to enhance a successful implementation of the project.
“We are bringing four integrated mill machines that would help to polish the harvested rice on to bagging. This will create jobs for the young people and training would be given to them through the agribusiness companies,” he explained.
The Paramount Chief of Bum Chiefdom, Bonthe District, PC Kaipumu expressed satisfaction for the tireless efforts the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is making through the Regional Rice Value Chain Project to boost agriculture in the chiefdom again,a place that use to feed the nation in the 60s, noting that it would take time for the place to realized it full potentials.
“The Project management unit is already working hard to meet the project objectives, it would be wise for the government to engage BADEA for their own part of the funding to release to the project in order to increase rice production in the chiefdom, “PC Kaipumu noted.
Mariatu Tucker one of the farmers of the project expressed hope for the kind of support they are getting from the project, and called on the government to give more support to the ministry of agriculture, as a way to increase on rice production and better the lives of more farmers.
The two agri-business companies reiterated their full commitment to the successful implementation of the project, and called on the farmers to embrace the project since all what the project it doing is to improve on the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers.
The Paramount Chief of Bum Chiefdom, Bonthe District, PC Kaipumu and the Project Coordinator of RRVCP, Abdulai Bun Wai and Technical staff of RRVCP including other stakeholders graced the symbolic launching of the harvesting at Makita one of the rice fields in Torma Bum.
Africa produced around 24 million metric tons of rice in the trade year 2020/2021. The production might slightly decrease to some 23 million metric tons in 2021/2022, according to the source’s forecasts. Most of the rice production in the continent were done in countries below the Sahara.