James Nyumah from Fuamah District, Lower Bong County in Liberia was able to support the education of his 12 children and established a school and clinic in his town through rice farming.
Mr, Nyunah, who started growing rice on his land 10 years ago because he could not find employment, helped developed a 120-ha upland rice farm, 10-ha lowland rice farm, and several hectares of oil palm and cocoa farms in the district.
More Liberians need to be encouraged to prioritize agriculture and take and farming seriously, he said. He also urged the government to lend more support to farmers to increase production.
Read the full story at Daily Observer
More influencers in Africa’s rice sector:
An interview with Peinda Cissé, Senegal’s mother of modern rice farming
In Senegal, like in other parts of Africa, rural women traditionally do not have access to agricultural land. Hence, they are obliged to rent land. But, once they develop it for farming and it becomes profitable, the owner takes it away from them. This is the general pattern. To empower these women, we established a federation in 1997.
From tiger shrimp to rice
Reminiscing about his early years, Baboucarr Manneh said that his first experience with research was a few months after high school in 1988. He served as a hatchery assistant in an aquaculture lab where he looked after the development of tiger shrimp larvae. Dr. Manneh liked this experience so much that he applied for an honors program in marine biology. “But, as fate would have it, I ended up getting a scholarship to study general agriculture and eventually studied plant breeding and biotechnology—with a focus on rice,” he said.
A game-changer in Africa’s rice agronomy
It is difficult for colleagues to believe that once upon a time Kazuki Saito, an agronomist at Africa Rice Center, was more enthusiastic about American football than about agricultural science. He confesses that, during his undergraduate years at Kyoto University, when he joined the university’s American football team, he probably spent more time in the field than in the classrooms. However, the same energy, passion, and single-mindedness helped him succeed as a player in his field of research to achieve an impact on the ground.