Rice production boost underway in Mongu

Some women farmers are diversifying into rice farming thereby heeding President Lungu's call to diversify into other crops

The Ministry of Agriculture is implementing a Market-Oriented Rice Development Project (MOREDEP) with technical support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in five agriculture camps in Mongu district, Western province.

The Market Oriented Rice Development Project is focusing on rice production using new techniques of good agriculture practices from growing up to harvesting of the crop.

This has been disclosed by the Ministry of Agriculture authorizes in an interview with ZANIS in Mongu.

Agriculture authorities say the idea of the project is to teach farmers how to produce quality marketable rice, the advantages of selling polished compared to unpolished rice, how to pack the crop and also access market information.

MOREDEP is also teaching farmers to have business plans for rice, as well as undertake simple businesses before the planting and after the harvesting season of the crop, in order to see if the business objective is being actualized.

Authorities say MOREDEP has targeted 240 rice farmers in the five agriculture camps of Mongu district, namely Kaande, Malengwa, Katongo, Mukengo and Namushakende and has empowered each one of them with a 10 kilogram bag of rice seed, line markers and ropes.

The three year MOREDEP that started in 2021 in Mongu, is expected to end in 2024 and the production for the last farming season has not yet been determined, adding that farmers are still at the harvesting stage of the rice grain.

Meanwhile, two MOREDEP farmers, Ronald Siyuni and Kalimba Muzaza of Namushakende and Kaande agriculture camps have praised government and its cooperating partner JICA for coming up with the rice initiative.

The duo said the project looks promising, adding that this year, they are going to harvest more than what was anticipated.

And Mr. Siyuni revealed that MOREDEP has also promised to give the farmers rice weeding machines.

He however appealed to the project team to dig canals from the rice fields that are not being used due to flooding, in order to maximise on production.


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