The Liberia Agri-business Development Activity (LADA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture has launched the Agro-inputs Dealers Association (ADAL) of Liberia with the aim to ensure that smallholder farmers across Liberia access quality and assessable agro-inputs to improve their agricultural ventures.
The Association was launched on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Paynesville City Hall, outside Monrovia, and was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Moses Zinnah; the Deputy Minister for Small Business Administration at the Ministry of Commerce, Andrew G. Paygar; the Chief of Party of LADA, Daniel Gies; representative of the USAID Mission in Liberia, among others.
Speaking at the program, Minister Zinnah implored agro-dealers to provide quality services to local farmers for the improvement of the country’s agriculture sector.
“Agro-dealers are those who are to educate farmers on the proper utilization of agro-inputs and as such your service toward farmers must be of quality. Your role is to ensure that farmers obtain market information on where inputs are available. The network of trained agro-dealers is therefore an essential component on improving agriculture, especially when we are thinking about the improvement of every aspect of the food value chains,” Dr. Zinnah told members of ADAL at the program.
He used the occasion to pledge his ministry’s commitment to work with agro-dealers to improve the production of crops.
“Our works at the Ministry is not to make farms but to create the enabling environment for farmers and other actors of the value chain through the formulation of policies and other means to develop the sector,” he stated.
The Chief of Party of LADA, Daniel Gies, said that his entity is working with agro-dealers to build their capacities so they can reach smallholder famers with agricultural inputs.
“Our institution is very pleased to work with agro-dealers to get inputs available to farmers. This is why we are investing our time and resources to the association to better serve Liberian farmers,” he said.
Liberian farmers are lacking access to affordable inputs and many of the agricultural materials used by farmers are being imported from neighboring countries, he added.
Mr. Gies disclosed that his institution aims to reach 20,000 farmers by the end of next year through the activity of agro-dealers.
The President of ADAL, Madam Rebecca S. Kalayi, said her organization is grateful to LADA and the MoA for initiating their establishment.
Madam Kalayi assured local famers throughout the country that her group will provide information on the proper use of various agro-chemicals.
“This is the beginning of a journey that looks challenging as many local farmers are in need of agro- input services. With the support of our partners and the Government, our organization stands to make a big difference in the country’s agriculture sector. We’re going to ensure the timely delivery of agro-inputs as well as provide information to farmers on the appropriate usage,” she mentioned.
Also speaking, the Deputy Minister for Small Business Administration at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Andrew G. Paygar, lauded the members of ADAL for their farsightedness in organizing themselves into an association, and assured his ministry’s willingness to work with the agro-dealers.