Category Archives: Irrigated

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf attends SRI field day, endorsing SRI for national food security

President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was on hand to commemorate the Liberia’s first National SRI Field Day, kicking off a three-day harvest celebration of SRI-produced Nerica L-19 rice at the Community of Hope Agricultural Project’s (CHAP) farm located on the outskirts of Monrovia. Speaking to the crowd, President Johnson-Sirleaf, herself a farmer, stressed the importance of farmers to the nation’s food security, and praised both CHAP’s work and the SRI methodology.

CHAP’s President, Robert Bimba, was also on hand to lead the events, meet with the President, and guide the delegation on a tour of the site. Robert Bimba and CHAP have been instrumental in the introduction and spread of SRI in Liberia, having conducted the first national SRI training in December, with participants coming from every county in the country.

As the National Facilitator (NF) for SRI activities in Liberia under the WAAPP, Bimba has an important role to play in boosting the country’s rice production, and is setting the bar high for his peers in other countries. Even though Liberia was originally considered in the third–or least established–group of SRI practicing countries in the region, his work with CHAP is quickly changing this.

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During the field day, enthusiasm and support for CHAP’s work was abundant, coming not only from President Johnson-Sirleaf, but also from Dr. Florence Chenoweth, Liberia’s Agriculture Minister, Henry B. Fahnbulleh, Montserrado County District No. 4 Representative, and a representative of the WAAPP.

The President lauded CHAP for following through on its vision, saying “CHAP has been doing this year after year, so let’s commend them for that.” Similar praise came from Dr. Chenoweth, who said that while CHAP and their collaboration with the Ministry have been a notable success, but cautioned that more still needs to be done.

Local government officials, such as Representative Fahnbulleh, pledged their support for creating a favorable policy climate for innovative agriculture like the kind practiced—and taught—by CHAP.

According to a story published by Liberian news agency FrontPageAfrica:

“A representative of the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP) assured CHAP of its support in all endeavors, saying, ‘Our intervention in Grand Gedeh and River Gee is not the end. We will support you in the western region, the eastern region and all of our counties of intervention.’

“WAAPP said it has a responsibility to provide leadership in areas where people’s lives will be enhanced and improved and agriculture is the surest way to ensure the stability of the country in food production.”

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SRI-Rice conducts technical support visit to southern Togo

As the official technical partner for the project, Cornell University’s SRI International Network and Resources Center (SRI-Rice), based in Ithaca, NY, USA, is responsible for conducting periodic support visits to countries throughout the project region. In early March SRI-Rice Technical Specialist Devon Jenkins traveled to southern Togo for a short two-day trip to meet with project partners and observe project activities.

ESOP Rice Processing Plant in Notsé

ESOP Rice Processing Plant in Notsé

Kokou Joseph ADOKANOU's SRI trial plots in Kovié

Kokou Joseph ADOKANOU’s SRI trial plots in Kovié

Highlights from Devon’s trip include:

  • Meetings with GRAPHE, ETD/ESOP, ITRA, and WAAPP
  • Field visits to Notsé and Kovié/Zio River Valley to visit with producers
  • Visit to ESOP rice processing plant in Notsé
  • Scouting for a future technical workshop

A full list of SRI-Rice support trips and their reports are posted on the Project Documents page. The full report of this support trip is also available here.