The Taiwan Technical Mission has been in The Gambia to provide assistance in the areas aquaculture, animal husbandry as well as investment promotion and health care among others.
It aims to facilitate economic growth and increase opportunities for local citizens to generate wealth.
The Upland Rice Expansion Project of the Mission, for instance, was established in 2009 following the completion of the Doubling Rice Yield Within Five Years Project. The purpose of this project is to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production over a four-year period by reclaiming 32,000 hectares for the cultivation of upland rice.
In our Today's edition of Agriculture, we bring you some of the achievements registered by the Mission in The Gambia last year.
Tzou Shuh-Kang, the leader of the Taiwan Technical Mission in The Gambia, who is also the consultant of the National Seed Council, highlighted the tremendous achievements they registered in the agriculture sector in the country. The Mission have been embarking on several projects in The Gambia for the past years and Shuh-Kang said they have been working on some wide range of projects across the length and breath of the country, including sustainable rice production, upland rice expansion, vegetable production, group counseling, fruit testing, as well as Tilapia culture technology transfer projects and host of other projects.
He said the Mission is planning to bring more meaningful projects in the country that can impact significantly on the lives of Gambians, particularly the farmers.
Sustainable Rice Production Project achievements in 2012
Shuh-Kang said the Mission has counseled Upland Rice Seeds production field of 665 hectares and produced upland rice seeds of 639.30 metric tons. This, he said can offer Upland Rice Expansion Project of up to 27,230 hectares.
Equally, he added that they have counseled the establishment of four rice production associations with a total production area of 160 hectares and the counseling of Tidal Irrigation Rice Production totalling 2,400 hectares to produce 6,000 metric tons.
He further said they have already completed the rice production skill training for 1150 people and rice milling machine and power tiller operation training for 92 people.
To build the rice-drying floor, he said the construction of a 1,900m2 and 200m2 warehouses is currently underway and is expected to be completed by March.
He said they have completed the main irrigation canals desalting which totals to 950 cubic meters and also completed the maintenance field road of 600 meters.
Upland rice projects in 2012
The Taiwan Technical Mission head went further to state that the harvest area as of 2012 was 7,372.14 hectares, in which 9,665.65 tons was harvested from rice, with an average yield of 1,311.11 kg per hectare. The output value of the production, he said was at US$2,255,318.57.