NA Select Committee on Agriculture visits NARI

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture on Tuesday continued the first phase of their nationwide tour, with a visit to the National Agricultural Institute NARI in Brikama and other units in Yundum and Banjulinding respectively.

The 14-member team in the coming weeks is expected to visit projects sites under the Ministry of Agriculture and is being led by Hon. Momodou Ceesay, the National Assembly member for Janjanbureh.

Upon arrival at the NARI Campus in Brikama, the team was  taken on a conducted tour of the various office at the campus.

At the soil testing laboratory, Sheikh Omar Taal, chair of board of director, NARI and consultants in Agriculture Research and Development, elaborated on the challenges facing the office, which he added, include ill-equipped machines to do their work effectively, among a host of others.

He maintained that as a result of ill-functioning of their machines most of their works are now send to Senegal where they pay a lot of monies on monthly basis.

Taal recalled that in the past, the lab used to attract a lot of researchers from Ghana and Nigeria and all over the sub-region who come to do their research work at the lab.

The team also visited the food chemistry laboratory, where officials tests the aflotoxins contents of foods.

At the Pest management office, Musa Kandeh, a research officer, informed the tour party about the work of the office, which he said, includes finding solution to pest and the spread of diseases.

The unit, he went on, also do evaluation of different herbicides as well as surveillance test for bacteria and other diseases.

However, officials there highlighted some constraints, which include, office space, capacity building and to increase their staff.

NARI Horticulture Unit in Yundum

From NARI campus, the tour party drove to NARI Horticulture Unit in Yundum, where the visiting officials were taken on a conducted tour of different variety of trial crops being cultivated at the site. Some of these trail crops were: pineapple, pawpaw, cassava, and pepper among others.

The delegation also inspected the fish pond at the site as well as the engineering unit just next to the NARI Horticulture Unit in Yundum. There the officials were briefed about the work of the engineers, who craft some of the farming implement used by farmers.

The day’s activities ended with a visit to the 50-hectare site in Banjulinding, where cowpea is being cultivated.

In his reaction after the day’s visit, Hon. Momodou Ceesay, the National Assembly member for Janjanbureh, who led the tour, said he was really impressed with what he had seen so far in all the areas visited.

To this end, he calls for greater collaboration for both institutions to be able to achieve their desired goals.

Author: Sheriff Janko