Ministry of Agriculture county coordinator of Nimba, N. Samuel Kehleay has emphasized that despite hindrances encountered by farmers in the county they are still on course with giving serious consideration to farming, especially food crop farming.
Although farming is a customary occupation for a lot of rural dwellers in Liberia, people are quick to shift from crop to crop when they see economic improvement hitting one crop.
This is evidenced by the priority that has been given Rubber in the county thus reducing rice farming and other food crops to the least in terms of preference.
Nevertheless, in spite of the economic struggle associated with rubber in the county, Mr. Kehleay indicated that there are people still in the county giving high consideration to food production for sustainability.
Naming districts that are actively engaged in food crop farming, the MOA County Coordinator identified Gbehlay-Geh, Saclepea and Zoe-Geh Districts as areas that have given 10% boost to Nimba County in food productivity which according to him makes the county to still maintain its status as a bread basket.
Reacting to the engagement in Rubber planting in Nimba, Mr. Kehleay noted that the intent is basically for land grabbing with just a little concern for economic gain.
Explaining further, he said because family structure in our setting is polygamous whereby people bear a lot of children by many women, the women themselves pressurize their boys children to randomly plant tree crop like rubber to engage land that they can take control of for future use.
He disclosed that farmers who are involved in rice farming are now encouraged to make maximum use of the lowland (Swamp).
As a result of advantage farmers are taking to make use of the lowland, Mr. Kehleay told this paper that they (farmers) have been able to produce 25 metric tons of rice seeds for planting.
Meanwhile, the MOA County Coordinator says Ministry of Agriculture cannot improve at the level citizens anticipate in the absence of the involvements of other stakeholders.
Citing a reference, Mr. Kehleay said Ministry of Public Works for instance, is responsible to make roads to enable tractors MOA has in the county to move from one area to the other, but not many roads are in the county and farmers even find it difficult to get their products to the market.