The training process is part of meeting WAAPP’s development objective of facilitating the adoption and dissemination of improved agricultural technologies whether locally generated or borrowed from another WAAPP implementing countries.
The training of trainers brought together representatives from the National federation of Sierra Leone Farmers, Extension officers from the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, with local fabricators with facilitators from the Republic of Guinea all inclusive.
In her statement during the ceremony, the Head of Service Rural Women Support in the Guinean Ministry of Agriculture who also doubles as Lead Guinean Consultant Trainer, Derlander Diallo noted that the old and current parboiling practices in huge pots are labour intensive, time consuming coupled with the use of lots of resources such as wood and water most times posed a lot of constraints for rice processors.
She maintained that the modernized or improved parboilers reduces time constraints, uses less water, less wood, and is user friendly and parboils large quantities of rice at better and higher quality as compared to the old methods, while pointing out that the training is relevant to not only women but men as well and that of which they are expected to cascade to other farmers throughout the country.
Director of Extension in the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security B Bangura highlighted the importance of experience sharing from other countries, while stating that even thought Farmers in Sierra Leone have been doing parboiling, adopting experience from sister countries is indeed a good initiative.
He said the Guinean fabricated parboilers’ needs also to be properly studied by local fabricators for possible modifications and adaptability.
Sulaiman Sesay is the Project coordinator for the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Sierra Leone (WAAPPSL), he highlighted the many activities that have been ongoing along the agricultural production value chain, but cautioned that WAAPPSL came to see how new technologies could be promoted and developed to replace older ones. That reason he stated, prompted WAAPP Sierra Leone to procure ten improved parboilers from Guinea to be transferred and adopted by farmers and further fabricated in Sierra Leone.
He recounted that the selection of a few member to serve trainers of trainees was for a purpose and however urging that they must quickly comprehend the use of the machines and that the knowledge they gain could be used to train others.
In the training he states, there are extensions agents who are specialized in technology transfer, farmers who themselves undertake the processing, fabricators who will learn how to fabricate and maintain the parboilers and people who will inform educate people on the value of the machines.
Ten parboilers he revealed where procured thus for the training of local fabricators, as the same parboilers have been adopted by the Ivory Coast, Mali and now Sierra Leone. “If the machines work well elsewhere but do not work well here, it maybe that the problem lies within us which is why every effort must be given to understand how it works” he said.
Participant at the training also express their appreciation on the training they have just acquired on the use of the improved technology parboiled rice.
According to many the venture being undertaking by the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPPSL) is indeed a step in the right direction.