The National, Wednesday 15th May 2013
By ELIAS LARI
A RICE farming project at the Highlands Agricultural College in Ati, Western Highlands, aims to harvest six tonnes per hectare.
The project is sponsored by the Chinese government and also aims to introduce rice growing skills to villagers and other interested farmers.
Six tonnes per hectare is considered a very good harvest, according to rice experts from China.
College principal Philip Senat said the rice project, which started in 2009, was progressing well and would help the local people to become self reliant through rice production.
“This will save the cost of buying from the shops and our aim now is to look at the ways of developing this institutional rice,” he said.
“Our rice consumption rate in the college is eight tonnes per year for 100 students and this is quite expensive when buying that amount from shops.
“I want to thank the government of the two countries for their effort to introduce quality rice from China, a step forward for the people to become self reliant.”
Farm manager Gibson Simon said so far they have assisted local farmers to mill about 200kg of rice.
“The college is capable of supplying seed, train farmers and at the same time it will help to mill their rice,” he said.
“We are now expecting to get a new mini harvester from China and we are looking forward to it.
“This project will help a lot of people in future in terms of basic planting and harvesting.”