Liberia: Stakeholders Want Research Institution to Streamline Agric Activities

Participants of the three-day workshop organized by BEHEARD

Suakoko, Bong County – Stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Liberia say they support a move by the Borlaug Higher Education for Research and Development Program, (BHEARD) to integrate the activities of the different centers and research programs and to better align with the country’s priorities in developing country’s agriculture sector.

Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]

BHEARD’s main task is to support the long-term training of agricultural researchers at the master’s and doctoral levels, thereby linking scientific and higher education communities in Feed the Future’s priority countries and the United States.

The stakeholders made the suggestion at the end of a three-day round table conference at the Central Agriculture Research Institute compound in Suakoko organized by BEHEARD. 

The conference was aimed at crystalizing the major problems facing Liberia’s agriculture sector.

The conference was also intended to put up action plans that will address some of the problems in the Agriculture sector.

Dr. John Medendorp, director of BHEARD, said the round table also focused on the lack of financing for farmers, access to market, lack of research and the lack of technology to help farmers improve their yields.

Medendrop noted the potential of the agriculture sector in Liberia’s efforts to reduce poverty and achieve its developmental goals of shifting to a middle-income economy by 2025, and reiterated the role of research and development to improve agriculture and combat climate change and her government’s commitment.

Dr. Medendrop said BHEARD will offer US$80,000 Grant to researchers in Liberia to research on specific aspect of the challenges facing Liberia’s agricultural sector.

Thirty representatives from various agriculture institutions in the country participated in the round table conference, some of whom are fellows of BEHEARD.

Mandela Hinneh, a fellow of BEHEARD, said leadership is key to give direction to stakeholders. “We should always follow the regulations and statutes of the Association to ensure that we take the agricultural sector forward”.

Hinneh stressed the importance of teamwork. “It should not be random and tasks should be divided and we all go through the processes and then come together to find solutions”.

Korto Neufville, a participant, said the knowledge learned during the workshop is practical and necessary for taking the sector forward.

“We have to respond and react and in dealing with a case-study we got which we can all relate to and we now go back to improve on our governance as well”.