The Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP), a local urban agriculture organization based in Paynesville, outside Monrovia has dispatched a consignment of agricultural tools including wheel barrows, shovels, hoes and other logistics like motor bikes and generators to local farmers in the South-east of Liberia.
At least 180 farmers in Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties are expected to benefit from the tools.
The consignment of tools is meant to strengthen local farmers in the two counties engaged in the practice of the system of rice intensification (SRI). The SRI is a new way to grow rice using less seed and a small amount of fertilizer with soil rich in organic matter. It is far different from the conventional method of rice production.
CHAP is piloting the implementation of the SRI in the country with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, through funding from the World Bank.
Although it is practiced in 13 West African countries for food sufficiency in the region, farmers in Liberia last year adopted the SRI in Kakata, Margibi County.
The aim is to increase the production of rice in Liberia.
Speaking to the Daily Observer Newspaper recently at his Paynesville office, the Administrative Assistant for CHAP, Blamo Chea said that farmers in the South-east have gone as far as preparing their fields to commence the planting of rice according to the practice of the SRI.
“We have decided to build the capacities of the farmers in the South-east in order for them to smoothly carry out the new way to plant their rice crops,” he disclosed.
He said that the motor bikes and generators are to be used at the offices in River Gee and Grand Gedeh to enhance the works of the farmers.
According to him, there is great reception toward the practice of the SRI on the part of South-eastern farmers.
“There is great potential in that part of Liberia (South-east) for low land rice cultivation. What is really needed to be done is to provide more encouragement to the farmers,” he noted.
Chea, stated that he is hopeful that the practice of the SRI will be extended in other parts of the country.