SRI Presented at the International Rice Congress in Changsha, China

Prof Mati with friends and Kenneth Quinn

Prof Mati with friends and Kenneth Quinn

This week, from June 26 to 29, 2019, international experts have been meeting at the International Rice Development Conference on China-Africa Rice Development, being held in Changsha, China. Held under the auspices of the International Forum on Rice Development (IFRD), the congress aims to boost the development of international rice crop research and

industry revitalization as part of China-Africa cooperation. At the core of the conference is to capture the latest advances in hybrid rice cultivation in the world and its relevance and applicability to Africa. The chairman of this conference is Academician Yuan Longping, the world-renown “Father of Hybrid Rice” and World Food Prize Laureate. The Congress was also addressed by Amb. Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation. The theme of this conference is Academic Discussion on Rice and Application of Hybrid Rice Technology in Africa. The Congress is attended by scientists, researchers and other experts on rice drawn from all corners of the world.

Prof. Bancy Mati, was among the keynote speakers who addressed the congress in Plenary on the opening day. Prof. Mati’s presentation was entitled Improving Productivity of Rice under Water Scarcity in Africa: The case for the System of Rice Intensification”. This paper was designed to address the water scarcity challenges that affect africa and the impacts on rice production and productivity. Noting that some 38 countries in Africa grow rice and all of them are net importers of rice, Prof. Mati suggested that there is need to address this disconnect. The paper further highlighted the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as a technology for growing rice given water scarcity, which also increases crop productivity. There are over 21 countries in Africa that have adopted SRI and they report improved yields and other benefits. SRI fits well with smallholder rice producers of Africa. However, there is a disconnect in the seed types and varieties used by farmers, most of which are low yielding. If hybrid rice were combined with SRI, higher yields will result as well as multiple benefits of the SRI to farmers. Therefore, herein lies an opportunity for China-Africa collaboration. JKUAT through WARREC already hosts the SRI-Africa knowledge portal for information, research and promotion of SRI. The SRI-Africa offers opportunity for a continental platform to transform rice production through knowledge and action in Africa.

Article by Prof. Bancy Mati, Changsha, China, 28 June 2019


The wintering is in the process of settling in the country. In places, significant amounts of rainfall are recorded, which augurs an early start of the rainy season. Ten days ago, the capital Bamako was abundantly watered and the runoff caused significant material damage and loss of life. This situation corroborates Mali-Météo’s seasonal forecasts, which predicted this year rainfall variability. Also, the May-June-July period will be close to normal in the whole country, except for the northern parts of Kayes, Koulikoro, where it will be in deficit with normal tendency.

The irrigated perimeter of Baguinéda is part of the Koulikoro region. On the lands of the Baguinéda irrigated perimeter office (OPIB), the peasants (for those who have committed themselves) are busy completing their off-season rice crops. The off-season campaign is in full swing. The crops are heading-maturation, according to the general observation made by our team that went last Thursday on the perimeter to see the status of activities. “The 2019-2020 crop year promises to be promising and the Baguinéda Irrigation Area Office (OPIB) is already ready,” Interim Director Mamadou Togola said during his visit to the rice fields.
OPIB’s main objective is to improve and secure agricultural production. It is within this framework that several activities are carried out by the structure to improve the yield of agricultural producers in the area. During the winter season, production activities focused on cereals and legumes (groundnuts and cowpeas) and during the off-season, producers are mainly interested in market gardening with an average of 1600 hectares of area all speculations combined. .
The fields visited sufficiently testify to the efficiency of the methods used during the off-season in the OPIB area. In the field of Dramane Diallo and many others, the cultivation method used is the intensive rice farming system (IRS). According to the interim director, this system boosts production, increases production and saves water. It is used by producers only during the dry season. It has already produced results at the level of desire. The owners of the fields using this system have shown their satisfaction and the observation shows the success. According to Dramane Diallo, this system allowed him to make two off-season campaigns with a good return. He first produced maize in the first place before sowing the rice on the same plot before wintering. He plans to harvest quickly before preparing the plot on a larger area this time for the winter season that starts. If the first field awaits the final maturation to be harvested, this is no longer the case in one of its neighbors. Indeed, a few steps away, at the Nouhoum Kanté plot, it was time to thresh the rice harvested on an area of ​​0.37 hectare.
The intensive rice cultivation system (IRS) has been very successful thanks to the commitment of the leaders of the OPIB. Adama Daou, head of the agricultural sector advisory and promotion division, also pointed out that, thanks to the SRI, off-season producers are able to increase their yield. Moreover, at OPIB, a cooperative called “SRI Waati sera” was created to promote this system that improves productivity. Regarding the 2019-2020 crop year, it intervenes in a context of safeguarding achievements, the pursuit of actions, strengthening the capacity of management, the intensification of the main crops in the perimeter. The target for this 2019-2020 crop year is to eventually produce 25,153 tons of cereals, of which 18,341 tons of paddy rice, 6.

“Love Liberian Rice” Campaign Launched


Paynesville Mayor Pam Belcher-Taylor and CHAP officials at the launch of "Love Liberian Rice" Campaign

Paynesville Mayor Pam Belcher-Taylor and CHAP officials at the launch of “Love Liberian Rice” Campaign



The Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) in collaboration with authorities at the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), recently launched the “Love Liberian Rice Campaign,” which aims at improving food security in the country through rice production, processing and marketing.

Launched at the Paynesville City Hall, the campaign brought together distinguished personalities, including officials of government, foreign nationals, private sector actors and representatives of local farmers.

Montserrado District #2 Representative, Jimmy Smith, who launched the campaign on behalf of the Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, described the initiative as laudable, and called on all Liberians to support the process.

Smith then expressed the government’s willingness to support CHAP to make the program a reality. He promised to purchase 200 bags of the rice produced by CHAP, as his contribution to promote the campaign.

Paynesville City Mayor, Palm Belcher-Taylor, also lauded CHAP for the program, and pledged  L$85,000 in support of the Campaign as well.

Mayor Belcher-Taylor said for any investment to be sustained, the people must take ownership. Therefore, “we encourage every Liberian to contribute to the campaign by making minimum contribution, because we want it extended to the U.S., Europe and Asia,” she told the participants.

CHAP Executive Director, Robert Bimba, who provided the overview, recalled how Liberians, especially rural dwellers, are contributing to the rice campaign.

According Bimba, the initiative aims at soliciting a volunteer contribution of US$1 from each individual, mainly those that are engaged into agriculture activities, “so that proceeds generated from the campaign will be used to purchase farming implements to empower smallholders’ farmers.

As part of the initiative, Bimba said approximately, 5,000 smallholder farmers, mainly women, are expected to benefit from seed rice under the program this year. According to him, the distribution of seed rice has already begun with smallholder farmers in Bomi County, and is expected to be extended to other beneficiary counties.

Bimba said prior to the exercise, CHAP has taught the farmers with improved technology in the “System of Rice Intensification” to increase the production of rice.

“We will have 3,000 tons of milled rice by mid-July for the local and international markets. Liberians outside the country are highly encouraged to contributed to the success of this program,” he added.

This story is courtesy of The Liberian observer: