Minister’s Visit Highlights Progress in Rice Production Initiatives in URR

On Day 3 of the Minister’s visit, the team arrived at Fatoto in the Upper River Region (URR), marking significant progress at a year-two rice intervention site. Initially targeting 20 hectares, the project adapted to community demand, ultimately cultivating 12 hectares. The visit highlighted the community’s involvement and adaptability in enhancing rice production.

Garawol’s Expansion and Equipment Appeal

The team then proceeded to Garawol, another year-two site, where the community tripled their production area from 25 to 75 hectares. Beneficiaries expressed their gratitude for the project’s support and appealed for essential agricultural equipment, including tractors, harvesters, and threshers. They emphasized that with adequate machinery, they could achieve self-sufficiency and contribute surplus rice to the market.

Honourable Minister Dr. Demba Sabally responded by reaffirming the government’s commitment to achieving self-sufficiency in rice production. He announced the initiation of a tractor procurement process, with delivery expected before the next rainy season. Dr. Sabally praised Garawol for their impressive yield improvement to 4 tons per hectare.

Encouragement from Agricultural Leaders

The Director General of the Department of Agriculture commended Garawol’s hard work and suggested organizing a national field day at the site to facilitate knowledge sharing. The Permanent Secretary echoed these sentiments, urging the community to maintain their momentum and continue their excellent work.

Progress at Kanubeh: First-Year Intervention Site

Next, the team visited Kanubeh, a first-year intervention site where 20 hectares have been ploughed, with seeds and fertilizers to follow. The community also received herbicides and requested capacity building in rice production. The DG of the Department of Agriculture assured them of the establishment of a Farmers Field School to enhance their agricultural practices.

Sotuma Samba’s Collaborative Efforts

The final stop was Sotuma Samba, a cluster site consisting of Sotuma Samba Koi and Sotuma Sainey Kandeh. The community received support for ploughing and harrowing 50 hectares, and have started sowing after receiving additional inputs. Beneficiaries expressed satisfaction with the project’s support but highlighted challenges in land leveling.

Minister’s Commitment to Agricultural Productivity

In response, Honourable Minister Dr. Sabally assured the community of the Ministry’s commitment to addressing infrastructure challenges and enhancing agricultural productivity. He emphasized the importance of ownership and sustainability plans for the support received. Honourable Essa Conteh, the National Assembly member for Jimara, praised the project’s impact and encouraged the community to maintain their engagement with the initiatives.

Regional Agriculture Director’s Support

The Regional Agriculture Director expressed gratitude for the project’s positive relationship with the directorate. He encouraged the community to communicate any issues, assuring them that support would always be available.


The Minister’s visit underscored the significant strides made in rice production across various intervention sites in the URR. The government’s commitment, combined with community effort and project support, is paving the way for substantial advancements in agricultural productivity and self-sufficiency in rice production. The ongoing collaboration between the government, agricultural departments, and local communities remains crucial for sustaining and expanding these achievements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *