Developing rice culture, a challenge in Guinea.
In March, the Lyceens Reporters had the opportunity to visit one of the four agronomic stations in Coastal Guinea, situated in Koba .There are seven of them throughout the country. The one we visited was created in colonial time, it is specialized in rice culture in Mangrove swamp and developing new varieties of rice seeds.
The station director named Dr Mamadou Soumah told us about the way they provide scientific assistance to farmers by offering solutions to the different problems they encounter.
Those who work at the center are researchers who produce varieties of rice such as ‘balenta and Ck73’. They can also grow organic rice. He told us about two types of mangrove swamps that are Rizophora and Avicenna.
This vegetation growing along tropical coasts is being devastated by the local populations who cut mangrove wood and use it to satisfy their needs. Mangrove swamps are good for rice growing because they contain natural fertilizers which are brought by the sea, but they also bring salt so farmers working there have to be talented in managing water.
There are two categories of water flooding mangrove swamps :
Freshwater in the rainy season coming from rivers and then sea water, in the dry season, which contains vital organic nutrients in the mud .
The rice fields have to be protected by dams. The IRAG station showed us Type 1* plain, their main goal is to achieve a long term fertility and avoid the use of chemicals that pollute the environment.
N’Famara Cissé, a specialist explains that there are four types of mangrove swamps :
*type 1 : which is just by the sea and has a high risk of salinity.
Type 2 : is just situated after type 1, but has no risk of salinity
Types 3 and 4 : they are both situated inland and irrigated by freshwater .
Moudatou et Aissata Hann, Kevin Yansane,
Photographer : Hadiatoulaye Barry.