To boost production of seeds, training of certified rice seed production cooperatives: Rice Value Chain Dev’t Project, IRAD sign strategic partnerships.

Minister Mbairobe, Director General of IRAD exchanging files

The Rice Value Chain Development Project, RVCDP, and the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development, IRAD, have signed two Memoranda of Understanding, MoU, for the production of nine tonnes of pre-basic seeds of adapted rice varieties and the training of certified rice seed production cooperatives, respectively.



The two MoU were signed Monday in Yaounde. The ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, MINADER, Gabriel Mbairobe. 

The MoU were signed by the Minister Mbairobe, the Director General of IRAD, Noe Woin; and the Project Coordinator of the RVCDP, Gregory Moluh.

According to Minister Mbairobe, the MoU shall run for 36 months. The project shall be carried out in the Far North, North West and West Regions.

It shall include the supply of nine tonnes of adapted varieties of basic rice seed, the supply of complementary technologies like seed nursery techniques, transplanting, water management, crop maintenance, harvesting, and seed processing.

The MoU also involves the training of 12 cooperatives and private companies in certified rice seed production, seed law, seed certification processes, as well as methods and techniques adapted to rice production technologies.

There shall also be the training of 150 trainers and the supply of bulletins on best agronomic, post-harvest and rice processing techniques.

Speaking during the occasion, Minister Mbairobe reiterated that agriculture remains one of the major pillars of economic growth policy.

According to the minister, rice is the second most consumed cereal after corn. Minister Mbairobe revealed that the annual rice consumption index is 25kg per inhabitant. 

The minister added that the structural deficit is estimated at around 450,000 tonnes per year for a national production estimated at 190,000 tonnes.

The minister said according to the National Institute of Statistics, NIS, total rice imports over the last three years were estimated at two million tonnes for 536 billion FCFA.

Coordinator of the RVCDP speaking during presentation of project 

 

He, however, stated that despite the enormous potential for intensifying the production, processing and marketing of rice in the country, numerous constraints still hamper the productivity and competitiveness of this sector.

Minister Mbairobe said that implementation of this MoU will make it possible to initiate concrete responses to the constraints to the development of the rice sector in the country.  

He described it as a clear demonstration of government’s commitment to ensure food security for the population. 

“This commitment is reflected in the substantial funding of 1,800,000 Euros, around 1,172,000,000 FCFA made available to IRAD to enable it to provide producers with high-quality seeds and training with good agricultural practices for rice production,” the minister said.

He lauded the Director General of IRAD for his constant commitment and support to government initiatives aimed at promoting the emergence of the seed sub-sector in the country.

The member of government also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the Islamic Development Bank for their continuous technical and financial support in some development projects and programs.

Speaking earlier, the General Manager of IRAD, Woin Noe, promised to work alongside the government. He also said that they shall provide a new variety of quality seeds to farmers to boost productivity. Through this, the IRAD general Manager said the population shall not only benefit from high yields but also live healthy.

 

About RVCDP

According to the Coordinator of the RVCDP, Gregory Moluh, the project is estimated at about 127,435,488,690 FCFA. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to rice self-sufficiency, enhance economic growth and improve household incomes.

The RVCDP is expected to increase rice production and productivity, increase smallholder farmers income and reduce poverty and food security.

The project scope includes seven components. Some of them include; rehabilitation, construction of social infrastructure, project management and coordination, audit, and Contingency Emergency Response, CER.  

 

 

This story was first published in The Guardian Post issue No:3163 of Tuesday July 9, 2024

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