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Chinese Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao at the Harvesting of Hybrid Rice Near President's Residence


Chinese Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao congratulated H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Ministries of Agriculture and Public Works of Liberia as well as Chinese Agricultural Expert Team for the good harvest of hybrid rice planted near the residence of President Sirleaf.


Ambassador Zhou made the remarks last Saturday, January 12, 2008 when he joined President Sirleaf and government officials including Minister of Agriculture, Hon. J. Christopher Toe, the Chairman of the Traditional Council of Liberia, Chief Zanzar Kawah, and local farmers in the harvesting program. He emphasized that the harvesting has sent out a strong message that if rice can grow in front of President's house, it can grow around houses of all farmers and that the food problem could be solved in Liberia. He further revealed that China has the top rice planting technology and is willing to share with the Liberian people. According to calculation, if planting hybrid rice twice on 115,000 acres of land, the production will be enough for the whole Liberian population. He believed that with the support of the international community and the hard work of the Liberian people, the day of food self-sufficiency will not be far away.  



Also speaking at the program, President Sirleaf thanked the Chinese agricultural experts for their devotion and diligence. The Liberian government, said the President, will work with its international partners, particularly China, to encourage the introduction of modern methods of farming in the country. She believed that the introduction of these methods will help the country become self sufficient in food production. The President urged the Ministry of Agriculture to work along with Chinese agricultural experts on developing the hybrid rice farming method in Liberia. She also challenged the National Traditional Council of Liberia to inform all Liberians, particularly local farmers, about the process.


The project was initiated by the President, with the Ministries of Public Works and Agriculture providing field support and the Chinese Agricultural Experts Team offering rice seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and instruction. The duration of growing hybrid rice is as short as 105-110 days.




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