Africa Rice Liberia Smart Valley Innovation Project Gets 3 Months Extension In Liberia

Africa Rice Liberia Smart Valley Innovation project under the SAWAH system has been extended up to December of this year, according to its Country Representative to Liberia.

The SAWAH System is a low-cost participatory development approach for rice cultivation in inland valleys in Liberia.

The project which was expected to end in September, according to the Country Representative of Africa Rice Liberia, Dr. Innosa Akintayo has been extended for three months due to the improvement of farmers in the targeted Counties.

The Africa Rice Country Representative to Liberia speaking at a day-long ceremony on September 12, 2019 lauded Bong County Agriculture Coordinator Kollie K. Nahn, the Regional Agriculture coordinator for Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties Moses Gbanyan including farmers for supporting the project.

He told the gathering that the goal of the SMART-VALLEYS project is to improve the livelihood and food security of rice producers by augmenting and securing rice production in inland valleys through improved land and water management and improved agronomic practices and to achieve augmented and stable yields through improved site-specific agronomic practices.

Dr. Akintayo narrated that the project also gears towards improving inland valley rice production of smallholder farmers through area expansion and increased productivity in the target countries.

Dr. Innosa Akintayo has meanwhile underscored the importance of the SAWAH system of rice production in Liberia.

The system focuses on the Bonding of plots of similar height, Ploughing, puddling and leveling of plots, Provide inlet for irrigation and outlet for drainage.

He explains that Sawah is a man-made, improved rice-growing environment with demarcated, bonded, leveled, and puddled fields, for water control and has been tested in several Africa Countries to include Mali, Cote d’ Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria, Ghana amongst others.

For their part, the County Agriculture Coordinator of Bong County Kollie K. Nahn and Regional Agriculture coordinator for Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties Moses R.Gbanyan thanked Africa Rice Liberia for advancing farming activities in the three targeted Counties.

The duo said due to Africa Rice involvement in the Liberian Agriculture sector, farmers are greatly making an impact in their various Counties in terms of productivity.

Also speaking during the extension ceremony some of the farmers who spoke to our reporter in Bong County thanked Africa Rice for the extension of the Smart Valley Innovation project in the three counties.

The farmers explained that through Africa Rice Liberia they have over the years made numerous gains in their various Counties through low land rice production.

During the ceremony the farmers recommended that a good policies be made to support the rice industry and Support for farmers, enhance the capacities of researchers of Ministry of Agriculture , Adoption of integrated nutrient management systems ( use of mineral fertilizers, organic fertilizers, rotations, combinations, etc.), Modified land tenure systems that are user-friendly, Adoption of effective, low input and low-cost soil and water management systems (e. g. “sawah” system) and there should be a good agronomic practices in the Country.

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