Apr 3, 2017, 11:17 AM
Many farmers who spoke to this reporter complained acrimoniously of losing a lot of their farm produce during post harvest.
According to them, they lack resources like threshing machines for rice production, drying floor and tractors for early transportation of their rice produce from the farms to their homes.
Speaking during the recent tour of the West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) project steering committee meetings, one Alhagie Basiru Bouy, a master farmer, lamented their challenges.
He said that last year they had high yield of crop, some scored more than four tons of upland rice per hectare, and for this year will be redoubled looking at the performance of the rice field, it is a clear indication that some farmers will score more than five tons of upland rice per hectare, thanks to the intervention of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) technical advice and the extension services through the innovation platform.
He noted that despite the fact that last year’s cropping season it was a little bit late for the farmers to receive fertilizers and seed, among other agricultural inputs but the farmers in Boiram village were able to use various means of getting fertilizers from the neighboring country of Senegal at a cheaper price.
According to Mr Bouy, after getting the fertilizers, from Senegal through him, the farmers in Boiram were able to get it from him at a very reasonable price so that farmers will not have any delay in applying fertilizers on their farms at the right time.
He went further to say that the issues of threshing machine and drying floor tractors remain a major concern as the farmers are at a very dangerous stage, which is post harvest, a lot of produces are losing which has a very negative impact on the farm produce.
He then took the opportunity to call on the agricultural projects through the Ministry of Agriculture to look into their concern and welfare and come to their aid.
For her part, Hawa Jagne a female active farmer who is anticipating to score more than five tons of upland rice per hectare this year, described this cropping season as a very promising season thanks to the support of the WAAPP and the technical advice from NARI.
Noting that farmers in Boiram have applied the best practices that can help them to achieve bumper harvest and food security, she was quick to complain some of the agricultural lapses that they face in hindering their effective services delivery, thus include drying floor for their rice production, threshing machine and at least tractors and timely provision of fertilizers and seed.
Speaking, the Alkali of Mamute Fana village in the Central River Region, Sait Ceesay, thanked NARI for their technical support.
Mr Ceesay seized the opportunity to thank WAAPP project steering committee for taking up the initiatives in going on the agricultural fields meeting farmers asking them their concerns and constraints and other issues affecting their agricultural productivity.
He also went on to express appreciation for the commitment of the farmers in ensuring that farmers applied the right method and best practices in achieving bumper harvest through the innovation platform created to them by NARI and extension.
In response to some of the concerns raised by the farmers the deputy director general department of Agriculture, Falalo Touray, thanked the farmers for raising their voice to be heard.
He noted that achieving bumper harvest in Mamute Fana village and Boiram would not be a surprise to them considering the commitment of the two villages and their involvement in groundnut and rice production.
He then called on the agricultural project to take this concern seriously and take note to ensure the welfare of the farmers are well addressed.