By Mike Puia
LOCAL rice farmer, Eddie Hula, from Isabel Province is encouraging locals to grow rice.
Mr Hula, from Isabel’s Gama District, is one of the few locals who are successfully growing rice.
He said growing rice is easy and can help sustain the family.
“My family had no problem with rice. We have plenty to eat and we spare money to buy other needs,” Hula said.
Hula, father of four children, started growing rice in 2006. Currently, he has a huge rice farm where about 200 people work in.
“I grow and eat my own rice. I am tired of eating free rice,” Hula said.
Hula is the owner of Folo farm. He grows mainly Taiwan’s R71 rice in his farm.
The R71 rice is one of the types of rice that is grown in the region. The most popular one is the Australian rice that is packed in Solrice bag.
Hula said he got the R71 rice from Taiwan’s technical farm in Honiara.
He said the R71 rice has high production and is resistant to pests.
“R71 is the best rice to grow. It does not need chemical and it suits rural and commercial farming,” Hula said.
He has a demonstration farm where farmers in the district usually come to and learn how to plant rice and other crops.
Hula said when he harvests the demonstration farm; he would share seedlings to 38 stakeholders.
“I usually distributed 60 kilograms of rice to a farmer. This caters for a farm of one hectare,” Hula said.
In 2017, he said he attended training where he learned how to make home-made rice grinder.
Hula can now harvest the rice, grind and pack the rice for food, planting or sell.