Agricultural experts in a meeting in the capital city of Senegal warned the government about the inefficiency of the country to achieve self sufficiency in rice production without trained and qualified farmers, told local sources.
Senegal requires 1.4million tons of rice for its domestic consumption and as a net importer it imports around 80% of its domestic needs and produces only 20%.The government wanted to reduce its dependency on rice import and hence the government has started a program worth of $148 million to achieve self sufficiency in rice production by 2017. To protect local farmers the P.M has also stressed on increasing import duties and taxes.
The experts present in the meeting however feels that self sufficiency could not achieve until the rice farmers and qualified and trained enough to use modern technology and tools.
The Director of National Office for Professional Training said that the government should invest on farmers training on using modern technologies and educate them on issues related to how can rice yield be increased.
Some experts also have a view to engage the young generation in the rice production so that they can contribute to the rice industry significantly. According to Senegal’s Professional Training Minister, only 5% of the qualified youth is engaged in the rice sector.
Agricultural Minister, Professional Training minister and Livestock Ministers were present in the Training and want the government to provide more funds to their ministries so that they can implement the suggested measures.
USDA estimates Senegal to produce around 289,000 tons of rice and to import around 1.15 million tons in MY2014-15 to meet the consumption demand of around 1.45 million tons