Liberia: FAO Hosts Integrated Sustainable System Training For Farmers On Rice Development Project
Gbarnga – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) ended training on Integrated Sustainable System of Rice Development project in CARI, Bong County.
The training is part of a project being funded by the Government of Japan, brought together over 1000 beneficiaries from three districts in Bong and Lofa Counties, 60% of which were women.
The project included the construction of infrastructures and the provision of agricultural equipment for project areas. In addition, a study tour with nine (9) nationals, including government officials and lead farmers traveled to Ghana to share their knowledge and experiences on intensive rice production and productivity.
Farmers were provided with improved rice seeds, fertilizers and hand tools to increase their average yield potential.
Speaking at the occasion, FAO, Agronomist Jobson Momo stated that FAO’s mandate is to support the Government of Liberia in ensuring food security and nutrition for the people of Liberia, which this project accomplished.
“This project was very special because it brought in a new methodology and technology that changed what was being done in the past,” Mr. Momo said.
He applauded the partners for their continued support and efforts in helping to achieve sustainable rice development. For his part, the Ministry of Agriculture, represented by Project Coordinator Mr. Victor Kolleh lauded the partners for their continued support and urged them to continue their efforts in helping farmers achieve sustainable yield and agro-development.
He emphasized the importance of actively continuing to work with farmers and provide them further support to continue witnessing positive results.
At the same time, Assistant Internal Affairs Minister for Coordination and Communal Farming, Ayoubah L. Fofana, stressed the importance of negotiating and working with partners like FAO to make Liberia self-sufficient in local food production.
He stressed the significance of communal farming, which he said, “could not be achieved without community members and leader’s involvement and support”.
Fofana commended FAO for giving the Ministry of Internal Affairs special recognition and continuing the mandate of working to make Liberia self-sufficient in food production.
Meanwhile a FAO released said to date, more than 21.5 hectares (ha) have been harvested in Lofa County, for a production of 68.65 MT of paddy, an average yield of 3.2 t/ha.
Accordingly, this represents a 167% increase, compared to the 1.2MT/ha of the county’s average rice yield.
Meanwhile, farmers who benefited gave appreciation to all the partners and stressed how important it was to be recognized and included in the project given their location.
They emphasized the need for such project implementation to continue in the future in order to increase food productivity in Liberia.