By: Dawda Baldeh
The China-Gambia Agriculture Technology Cooperation Project has commenced a demonstration event displaying fully mechanized rice production techniques in Sapu, in the Central River Region.
The project aims to enhance modern rice farming and reduce the country’s reliance on imported rice.
The demonstration took place on a 5-hectare rice field and was attended by project officials, government representatives, local farmers, and private investors.
The rice planted during the demonstration is expected to be harvested in about four months.
Jacky Huang, the Country Managing Director of Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co. Ltd. (L.P.H.T), spoke about how this modern technology can improve rice production in The Gambia and reduce the high prices of imported rice.
He mentioned that the China-Gambia agriculture project started in 2019, with the second phase currently ongoing.
The main objective of the project is to increase rice production, achieve food security, and eradicate hunger in the country.
Similar demonstrations have taken place in the areas of maize and millet production in Kerewan during the rainy season, the project officials said.
The project officials also mentioned the construction of a training center in Jambanjelly mix farm, West Coast Region, with a 6000 square meter greenhouse.
According to officials, the training center will be able to train 80 personnel at once.
John Mendy, the agric regional director for Central River Region, emphasized the importance of mechanization in agriculture and stated that it is crucial for achieving food security.
He commended the China Aid project for its contribution to rice production in The Gambia.
“The government aims to eliminate rice imports by 2030 by leveraging the country’s freshwater resources, human resources, and land, with the assistance of their Chinese counterparts,” he said.
Dr. Demba Jallow, the director of the National Agriculture Research Institution (NARI), praised the China-Aid team for their efforts, which align with the country’s development objectives and agricultural productivity improvement strategies.
He emphasized that the project demonstrates their commitment to achieving food self-sufficiency.
“The project focuses on three areas: rice production, vegetable cultivation, and maize production,” he explained.
Hon. Gibbie Mballow, the National Assembly Member for Lower Fulladu West, expressed appreciation to the Chinese for their initiatives and emphasized the importance of land development to ensure the proper functioning of modern farming technologies.