The Community Biodiversity Action Network (CBAN) in collaboration with the Rice Research Station (RRSR), the Common Fund for Commodity (CFC) and other partners has successfully completed a two-day training workshop for 40 sorghum farmers in eight districts in the country.
During the first day of the training, the farmers learnt from and discussed among other things how to harvest and thresh sorghum, mill, quality maintenance and packaging, storage and store maintenance, supply chain and operational management.
On the second day, the 40 nucleus farmers visited the sorghum production research site. During this occasion, they were able to see the use of various cultivation techniques of our local sorghum including the cultivation of varieties from other countries.
Their learning experience also included the yields realised from the combination of sorghum with rice, groundnut and other crops, fertilizer application weed and pest control.
Following this practical session of the training, the farmers participated in a discussion session where they made observations and asked questions about what they saw in the field.
Some of these included the use of herbicides in the control of weeds, availability and use of fertilizer, assistance by making available tractors to increase their areas under cultivation.
Addressing the farmers during the closing ceremony, Professor Edward Rhodes, who is the executive director of the National Agricultural Research and Coordinating Council (NARCC), said the initiative of encouraging the commercialization of sorghum production had multiple advantages for the farmer, the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL) and the nation as whole.
The farmers, he said, were among the poorest in the country. He added that the ability of a ready market with the award of reasonable price incentives could turn round his plight with the multiplier effect of diversity and boosting food security and the national economy as well as enhancing a turn over of the net gains of the SLBL.