In previous editorials Foroyaa had raised the alarm and called on government to commission experts to monitor the unseasonal rains and convene Cabinet to review and issue a White Paper on the rainy season.
There was an assessment in October from UN sources regarding the prospects for poor harvest due to late rains. But there is yet to be any word from the government. Even the total rainfall has not been revealed and attempts to get rainfall data have been blocked.
Now that the rainy season is over Foroyaa has started receiving reports of anticipated low output of production of upland rice due to late rains. Reports have it that the rains stopped at a time when the upland rice plants in the West Coast Region were pollinating which made them to dry up and thus render them seedless.
In a similar vein, lowland rice has not done well. Though the rice plants have pollinated they dried up before maturity due to lack of the required moisture.
In short, the farmers are already in the land and have tilled the land but this year there will be low harvest in West Coast Region. Is there any prospect in boosting rice production to meet the target of self sufficiency in rice production in 2016?
The farmers in this region are calling on Government to intervene to ensure irrigation facilities are available to enhance the cultivation of rice all year round without depending on rain, but is the government listening? How does it hope to produce 20 times more rice as it produced in two years with this attitude?