Pioneer of Upland Rice Cultivation
It was once impossible to imagine that rice cultivation could succeed in the shallows and floodplains of central Senegal. But after just one agricultural season, Diabel Sall is living a different reality: He tested upland rice and got an excellent harvest.
Diabel became a “star” in his village, Taiba Thialène, and all village producers are now looking up to him. Rice cultivation has finally become possible in Diabel’s village, and history will remember that he pioneered this through the support of Africare’s USDA-funded PRODIAKT project.
Diabel Sall does not look 42 - indeed he looks much older, with his frail body and little salt and pepper mustache. But he looks very happy.
Diabel talks proudly about last season when he cultivated rice and stole the show from all the other producers in Taiba Thialène. His field, where he cultivated an improved variety of rice, “NERICA 6”, was the attraction.
“With this harvest, I can at least ensure that I have enough rice for my household,” reveals Diabel Sall, who keeps praising the PRODIAKT project that piloted rice cultivation with him.
Just one-quarter hectare of his land gave him more than 700 kg of rice, and now he is already preparing his next agricultural campaign. Diabel aims to increase the size of his plot to one hectare to have enough rice to consume throughout the year.
According to Africare’s field agent based in the village, it is the local Community-Based Organization (CBO) that supplied the seeds to Diabel, and the CBO did not regret their choice.
Diabel’s rice field was the most distinguished in the village among the four producers chosen by the CBO. Even a mission from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) visited his field and was impressed. For Diabel, his recipe was simply to adhere to all the technical guidelines given by Africare in regards to the rice cultivation. “Because I was doing this crop for the first time, I wanted to meet all the technical requirements to be successful,” he says. “I was trained in technical production of upland NERICA rice. I had seeds of great quality. Land work and crop maintenance were done, as well as standard use of fertilizers,” says Diabel.
This was his route to success.