High yielding varieties of rice and other measures were introduced in the Ndop plains to boost rice production and improve on farmers’ income.
New rice production techniques and the introduction of new seed varieties are the innovative measures in the Development of Irrigated and Rainfed Rice cultivation (PRODERIP) project extended to Ndop farmers in 2016.
The project was introduced to improve rice production in the Upper Nun Valley Development Authority (UNVDA) a government umbrella company that is supposed to organise rice production and buy off the produce from farmers.
At the introduction of the project officials of the rice producing organisation told us that the project is expected to boost rice production so that Ndop rice will be sufficient in other parts of Cameroon to meet demand.
To the officials, yields were expected to increase because new and high yielding rice seeds were tested and old local seeds were being cleaned.
The project was expected, officials said, was supposed to introduce new seeds in 2016 which will enable them to produce rice that can compete with international brands.
“The project was working on the quality of seeds; the possibilities of introducing other high yielding varieties of rice and cleaning of the old existing seed material that has been used for so many years,” Bobah Brillan, UNVDA official said.
Rice farmers eager to increase production
Rice farmers in Ndop, who were enlightened on the activities of the project on a field, expressed satisfaction and hoped for a day when they shall be able to make more money from their sweat in rice production.
They have been complaining that the cost of rice production is so high that they work at a deficit by spending so much in terms of money and getting back less.
Though with conflicting calculations, farmers said the cost of producing a 100Kg bag of paddy is far higher than the 12000 Fcfa UNVDA pays for it and private buyers pay even less.
Though the project started in 2011, observers regret that Ndop rice brand is still not common and when found the price of the rice is still far higher than imported rice that is found right down to local village stores in the North West. Many farmers believe that more subsidies and training would help increase production.