Villagers keen on growing rice

National

ABOUT 5000 people from Kilip Dal village in Banz say they are serious about growing rice following a healthy harvest from seeds given to them by international donors.
They learnt that their land was conducive to growing quality rice, which is now rated next to sweet potato as a staple for them.
Thomas Imbal, a former teacher, is in awe of his harvest from the seedlings given to his family by the International Organisation for Migration and USAID.
“I have harvested 120kgs and consumed it already,” he told the IOM and USAID representative who visited the bore-hole water project site and the agriculture plots of drought victims last Friday.
“It was so sweet and contains a lot of nutrients.
Other members of the community expressed their desire to make rice farming a daily practice as well as to commercialise it.
Spokesman Mare Dorum thanked the donors for supplying them with the rice seedlings and other crops and the water project that helped them during the recent drought.
“We are really interested in planting rice but we would request the donors if they could again help us with a rice mill. We can grow rice but we cannot mill it into a finished product for our consumption or to sell it,” Dorum added.
Jiwaka disaster risk reduction officer Thomas Mek said in the next five to six months rice could outdo sweet potato and become a staple food of the community.
IOM emergencies and disaster management coordinator Wonesai Sithole commended the community for putting to good use the seeds they have distributed.
“It’s for your own good and your children. It’s good to see you establish contact farmers. You can make it a business,” Sithole added.

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