Regional Agricultural Directorate of Kerewan in the North Bank Region with
support from National Water and Land Management Project (NEMA) recently
organized farmer field day on Farmer Field Schools on rice cultivation.
The synergy was held in Nyofelleh Upper Nuimi North Bank Region.
The initiative, part of National Water and Land Management project (NEMA) through the plant protection services has established Farmer Field Schools (FFS) across the country to improve the skills of rice growers in order to enhance productivity and improve the livelihoods of small scale farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, Mustapha Drammeh, Regional Agricultural Director for North Bank Region, noted that the department of agriculture attached great importance in building and strengthening farmers capacity on adoption of best agricultural practice to enhance skill on appropriate innovation platform to boost rice production.
He noted that it would help to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of farmers and by extension empower farmers to promote commercial farming.
He thanked the leadership of Upper Nuimi for their invaluable support to Farmer Field Schools, noting that it served as learning point for farmers to learn best production methods.
Chief Momodou Chatty Cham of Upper Nuimi thanked the department of agriculture for strengthening farmers on the adoption of best agricultural practices to enhance income and food security.
He called on farmers to work with agricultural extension workers to improve rice cultivation and enhance livelihood development.
Upper Nuimi chief called on farmers to always cater for their individual seeds to enhance timely sowing.
Jalibuya Njie, Farmer Field School and frontline extension worker lauded NEMA for the support to the implementation, noting that NEMA has a component axed on rice production which would help alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods.
He said the event helped farmers to showcase and share experiences on benefit and challenges on the execution of program. Njie thanked farmers for their unflinching support to farmer field schools and assured of their support to build and strengthen farmer capacity.
The Farmer Field School (FFS) learnt skill on site selection, seed quality testing, importance of row seeding, pests and disease infestation, maturity determination.
Alasan CMB Bah dilated on the importance, concept of FFS and agronomic practice of rice production; from site selection, seed quality test, fertilizer application, pest monitoring to harvesting.
He said the program would help the country to attain food self sufficiency and reduce effects of climate change which causes floods or droughts.
He highlighted that he provided the FFS with seeds (WAPP 105) when they turned to him for support, thus advising the community to multiply the seeds harvested for sustainability within the community and beyond.
The team later went to visit the FFS plot (0.25ha) and they were impressed and showed satisfaction in the efforts and its dividend.
However, farmers were advised to remove the off-types in the field before harvesting for homogeneity and seed purity.