Bong — Africa Rice Liberia Smart Valley Innovation project under the SAWAH system has been extended to December 2019, according to its Country Representative to Liberia.
The SAWAH System is a low-cost participatory development approach for rice cultivation in inland valleys in Liberia.
The project which was expected to end in September, according to the Country Representative of Africa Rice Liberia, Dr. InnosaAkintayo has been extended for three months due to the improvement of farmers in the targeted Counties.
Speaking at a day-long ceremony Dr. Akintayo lauded Bong County Agriculture Coordinator Kollie K. Nahn, the Regional Agriculture coordinator for Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties Moses Gbanyan including farmers for supporting the project.
He told the gathering that the goal of the SMART-VALLEYS project is to improve the livelihood and food security of rice producers by augmenting and securing rice production in inland valleys through improved land and water management and improved agronomic practices.
According to him, the project seeks to achieve augmented and stable yields through improved site-specific agronomic practices.
Dr. InnosaAkintayo has meanwhile underscored the importance of the SAWAH system of rice production in Liberia.
The system focuses on the bonding of plots of similar height, ploughing, puddling and leveling of plots, providing inlet for irrigation and outlet for drainage.
He explains that SAWAH is a man-made, improved rice-growing environment with demarcated, bonded, leveled, and puddled fields for water control.
According to him, it has been tested in several Africa Countries to include Mali, Cote d' Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria and Ghana, among others The County Agriculture Coordinator of Bong County Kollie K. Nahn and the Regional Agriculture Coordinator for Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties Moses R.Gbanyan thanked Africa Rice Liberia for advancing farming activities in the three targeted Counties.
The duo said due to Africa Rice's involvement in the Liberian Agriculture sector, farmers are greatly making impact in their various counties in terms of productivity.
Also speaking, some of the farmers thanked Africa Rice for the extension of the Smart Valley Innovation project in the three counties.
The farmers explained that through Africa Rice Liberia they have over the years made numerous gains in their various counties through low land rice production.
During the ceremony, the farmers recommended that a good policy be made to support the rice industry, support farmers, enhance the capacities of researchers at the Ministry of Agriculture, among others.