Guinea-Bissau loses more than 40% of rice production annually due to poor seed quality and a lack of appropriate equipment to harvest and collect it, the president of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INPA), Simão Gomes said last Saturday.
Gomes stressed that, despite the partial use of tractors and other equipment in rice production, the post-harvest and harvesting phases require machines such as combine harvesters, as well as for husking, bagging and silos under the conditions required for storage of the grain produced.
“In previous agricultural seasons, the country lost a lot of rice produced because of a lack of these materials,” he noted without specifying the amount of rice produced annually in Guinea-Bissau.
He also called on the Guinean State to invest in the production of quality local seed because, he explained, much of what is imported is vulnerable to disease or has difficulties adapting to local conditions.
Gomes was speaking at the first National Seed Fair organised by the Ministry of Agriculture at the weekend in Contuboel, in the Bafatá region, 150 kilometres east of Bissau, and financed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Figures released by the FAO in 2016 showed that Guinea-Bissau’s rice production was estimated at 111,000 tons, compared to consumption in excess of 200,000 tons per year. (macauhub)