As part of efforts to boost the agriculture sector through its research arm, the Chinese Government has resumed operations through its China-Aided Liberia Agriculture Technology Demonstration Center at the Center for Agricultural Research (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County.
The center closed its operations following the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease in the country.
Speaking at the ceremony, the vice general manager, Kobe Zhang, said the re-opening of the center is to help improve Liberia’s agriculture sector through the activities that will be carried out at CARI.
The center, he said is highly noted by many as the entrance to the improvement of agriculture in Liberia and is under the organization of the Liberia Longping Agriculture Development Company Limited.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Moses Zinnah, on his part stressed that investing in food and agriculture is very important to the growth of the sector.
Minister Zinnah promised to support the Chinese in their venture to make the country self-sufficient in food.
He lauded the efforts of the Chinese Government in helping to promote agriculture in the country, indicating that CARI is a major research and training ground for Liberians venturing into agriculture.
“I will closely work with the citizens of Suakoko, Bong County to improve production and by ensuring that our country is food secure to minimize the high rate of importation in the country,” Dr. Zinnah pledged.
He stressed the importance of investing in food and promised to support the Chinese in their endeavor to make the country self-sufficient in food. The Center contains machineries such as tractors, hand rollers, rice mills and other essential equipment for agriculture productivity.
Mr. Aaron Marshall, the Team Leader at CARI explained that the center is a support from the Chinese Government to the people of Liberia to provide appropriate technology training to small farmers, power tiller operations and maintenance, rice, vegetables, piggery productions, among others.
Mr. Marshall indicated that the reopening of the center will serve as a boost to help improve agriculture in the country.
He, meanwhile, appealed to the Center head to provide more visible agriculture initiatives in the County particularly, in the Kpatawee area where the Chinese must prioritize.
He made it clear that the Center won’t carry on research because the center will also provide necessary agricultural machinery and farming tools as well as processing equipment; with focus on rice, corn and vegetable production.
He promised to work with the Chinese government for better improvement of the country’s agriculture sector.
Meanwhile, since the establishment of the Center by the Chinese agriculture technicians, there have been numerous training opportunities for several Liberians in the areas of animal husbandry, machine operation and other agriculture related exercises.
The Center began operations in Liberia in June 2010 and technical operation started in 2011 by 12 Chinese at CARI, in Suakoko District to help improve the country’s agriculture sector.