Guinea-Bissau: Young farmers to overcome rice shortfall

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau – People in Guinea-Bissau should be eating domestically grown rice produced by young farmers by 2020, the chairman of the national youth organisation (CNJ), said on Tuesday.

Aissatu Forbs (26) said the project to encourage young farmers to grow rice has been on the books since 2012 and they want to create young farmer cooperatives in several regions of the country.

The plan is to involve roughly 2,500 young farmers aged between 15 and 35 and they will be given support for five years by the agriculture ministry.

The CNJ chairman, who is a doctor by training, believes that rice, which is the country’s staple food item, will be produced in young farmer cooperatives and sold in Guinea-Bissau by 2020.

Government figures show that the country normally produces about 111,000 tons of rice a year, but it also has to import another 150,000 tons, costing it$75 million (€70.3 million).

The young are going to help to drastically reduce the importation because of what they produce and help the country become self-sufficient in food terms, Aissatu Forbs told Lusa.