The Rice Research Station at Rokupr, in the Kambia district, has benefited from a $220,000 grant from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The grant, according to the public relations officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Richard Bockarie, established a well equipped functional tissue laboratory at the rice station.
He said the laboratory would be used to facilitate and quicken the breeding and releasing of improved and desirable rice varieties and other crops that would rapidly help in the commercial production of bananas, plantains and others.
Mr Bockarie also said the grant was used to secure the needed laboratory materials and equipment, as well as training of four staff members of the research station. He further said Dr DJN Rao, head of the crop improvement department at the Central Rice Research Institute Cuttack (Orissa) India, together with a local consultant Dr Sydney Johnson helped installed the materials and equipment at the laboratory.
Dr Rao, the PRO went on, at a seminar at the National Agricultural Research Coordinating Council (NARCC) explained about the advances India had made in rice research.Prof Edward Rhodes, who is the executive secretary of NARCC, conveyed his gratitude to Dr Rao and IAEA for their assistance. He spoke of the current policy on agriculture in the country and explained about the importance of the agriculture sector to the people of the country.