SLARI to reduce farmers yield gaps
The Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) is in the process of preparing to reduce the yield gaps in farmer’s field in the country. This was disclosed by Dr. Mathew Gboku, Deputy Director General and Research Director SLARI on 5th October, 2016 during his presentation at the 2017 Financial Year Budget hearing at the Miatta Conference Hall In Freetown.
Dr. Gboku disclosed that, SLARI is proposing to improve yields per hectare of land to reduce yield gaps in Boli lands, river line, mangrove and inland valley swamp ecologies adding that, SLARI will provide improved water and nutrient management technologies.
He said SLARI will also support the development of partnership that will lead to accelerate the use of productivity by increasing technologies (fertilizers and improved water and nutrient management options).
He said SLARI will also explore for appropriate solutions to problems that will greatly contribute to decrease in rice farming production, such as, damages caused by birds (23%); lack of financial support (17.89%); access to quality seeds (13.2%); and lack of appropriate working tools (11.16%).
The Deputy Director- General noted that, Africa Rice is supporting SLARI in the identification of scalable technologies in the three rice hubs in Sierra Leone as well as other potential partners that will facilitate scaling out of these technologies in the rice hubs.
Africa Rice, Dr. Gboku went on, will support SLARI to exploit these results in order to effectively scale out technologies within the context of the established rice hubs and IPs developed by WAAPP based on developed scaling-out strategies, including the concept of the Green Innovation centers.
He added that, SLARI with support from major partners will in turn support the development of policies, through market research and analysis that will deliver policy options to facilitate the establishment of rice agric-food systems that would curb import of rice and other commodities influencing government spending and encouraged their intensive sustainable production.
Dr. Mathew Gboku also recalled that Africa Rice will provide support to develop partnership that will lead to the accelerated access to credits by actors of the value chain.
He continued that, the support in the development of strategic partnerships will include facilitating coalition building with the Ministries of Trade and Industry and Finance, Bank of Sierra Leone and other banking edifices and the private sector.
By Bockarie Kamara
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