Chinese ambassador hands over rice seed varieties to Barrow
By Sulayman Waan
His Excellency, Liu Jin, the Chinese ambassador to The Gambia has recently handed over nine metric tons of Pedi rice and six metric tons of inbreed rice seed varieties to President Adama Barrow at a ceremony held at Maruo farms in Parchar, Central River Region.
The ceremony also witnessed the launching of the combined rice mill with the capacity to mill about 30 bags of Pedi rice per hour.
The gesture was aimed to improve rice production in The Gambia which is in line with government’s efforts to attaining food self-sufficiency by locally producing enough rice for consumption and also end or reduce the nation’s dependence on rice importation.
Speaking at the ceremony, His Excellency, President Adama Barrow applauded the Chinese ambassador and the People’s Republic of China for contributing to improving rice production in The Gambia.
He also thanked Mr. Musa Darboe, CEO of Maruo Farms for being part of the national development plan in complementing government’s efforts. He revealed that Mr. Darboe has the support of the Chinese government through The Gambia government.
President Barrow talked about the significance of seeing a hybrid rice that can produce up to 10.7 tons per hectare, whilst locally, the Gambia’s production is 3.5 tons per hectare from the same land size which could produce 10 tons per hectare.
“When I calculated that we are producing 15 percent. If we were growing the hybrid we could be 60 percent food self-sufficient with the same land size which cannot be attained without machines. I also appealed to the Chinese ambassador for them to help us with a technical team and technical support to Gambia to cover other parts of the country,” President Barrow noted.
Barrow, accordingly, urged Gambians to venture into agriculture to produce enough rice as the government is ready to support. They want to make sure they have enough rice to feed the nation; rice being Gambia’s stable food.
For his part, His Excellency Ambassador Liu said that China’s hybrid rice technology has enabled China to feed nearly 20% of the world’s population with 7.4% of the world’s arable land, and it has been also promoted to more than 70 countries all over the world for benefiting the local people.
“As a major agricultural country and the good brother and good partner of The Gambia, China will continue to follow the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, deepen China-Gambia practical cooperation in the fields of agriculture and so on, help Gambian people to achieve the “Zero Hunger” goal set by H.E. President Barrow,” Ambassador Liu said.