On 19 May at Yenagoa (Bayelsa State, Nigeria) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed that sanctions the delivery by the NAOC to the local government of the Burma Rice Farm project, in the presence of the district general manager of the NAOC, the governor Timipre Sylva and the local press.
The hand over included infrastructure, agricultural equipment and offices, in addition to the future technical management of the Africa Rice Centre. The Burma Rice Farm is a pilot project developed by the NAOC for the production of rice in an area of about 50 hectares in the Bayelsa State region of Imbiakpabai, Nembe.
First launched in 2000, with an agreement between the NAOC and Bayelsa State, the project has involved the development of farming techniques, training, technical support and the provision of agricultural equipment. The aims of the project include the production of high quality rice crops with results in both economic and employment terms in line with the Federal Government's Nigeria Rice Policy. The project has achieved a production level of 200 tonnes/year of rice and created up to 60 jobs.
The 2000 MoU foresaw that the project would be delivered with all of the agricultural plant to the government of Bayelsa after 3 years. However, in order to ensure the sustainable management of the entire project it was recognised that the involvement of a specialised third-party was necessary to oversee operations. Consequently the management of the NAOC was extended and, in 2008, a new technical partner of Bayelsa State was identified in the Africa Rice Centre (the former West Africa Rice Development Association), a Pan-African organisation that currently includes 23 member states and guarantees research, project implementation and partnership initiatives aimed at agricultural development and poverty reduction in Africa.
The Bayelsa State government and the Africa Rice Centre agreed to use the Burma Rice Farm as a sustainable project aimed at producing rice in the Nembe region and also outlined further operational plans.
Last updated on 12/07/11