The Farmers Union Network of Liberia (FUN) has completed the donation of farming materials to over 221 farmers in four counties of Liberia.
The counties include, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Montserrado and Grand Cape Mount.
FUN, is an implementing partner under the Agricultural Sector Rehabilitation project (ASRP) Extension Program in Liberia.
The donation was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), through funding from the Italian government.
According to an official of FUN, “It is the first of its kind by FUN in post conflict Liberia and is meant to aid food crop production by local farmers to improve productivities.”
Speaking during the donation ceremony in Vonzue Town, Garwulu district, in Grand Cape Mount County recently, FUN’s Board Chairman Mr. Momolu Bass, disclosed that the donation was a way of removing some of the constraints faced by local farmers.
He said that there are others farmers identified in other counties who are expected to benefit from the donation in the next few months.
“This is phase one of the distribution of tools to farmers. We are going to extend it to other areas where the project is being carried out,” he disclosed.
He said that 221 farmers chosen from 18 districts in the four counties benefited from the tool distribution.
Mr. Bass noted that farmers in those selected counties have face challenges over the years in food crop production, especially when it comes to the provision of tools.
He stated the tools provision was needed to help farmers improve their farms to earn more money. He estimated the worth of the tools at US$150,000.
The FUN Board chairman named cutlasses, hoes, 100 meter rolls of measurement tape, rain boots, wheel barrows, and others among farming implements distributed to the farmers.
He mentioned that materials given to the farmers were free of charge.
“These tools are in fulfillment of a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between FUN and local farmers for the cultivation of one hectare of farm land to plant vegetable, rice and other crops,” he said.
He warned the farmers to make proper use of the materials in order for them to earn more income.
“We are going to come back here at the end of every month to get account of how well you are utilizing the material. If we discover the items are not put to use, we will cut your supply,” he cautioned the farmers.
The FUN board chairman also disclosed that farmers in the targeted counties would be provided an allowance of US$50.000 per lead farmer to enable them to expand their farms.
Speaking on behalf of his Districts Extension Officers from the three counties, FUN’s Grand Cape Mount County CEO, Mr. A. Momolu Zoedua commended FUN and its partners for the gesture, noting that it was the first of its kind.
Mr. Zoedua said the tools would help enhance the performance of farmers in his county thereby bringing about sustainable food production.
He then assured FUN members of the smooth implementation of the program by the farmers.
Also speaking on the last day of the donation was Grand Bassa County Extension Officer, Mr. Joshua T. Flama, who lauded FUN for the donation.
He asked farmers in Bassa to take the program seriously.
For his part, National Coordinator of FUN, Rev. Robert S. M. Bimba, lauded IFAD for the support given to farmers in Liberia.
He commended the Minister of Agriculture for her profound leadership ability which he felt was helping to boost the nation’s food production.
He also urged farmers to be more productive in their farming activities and consider agriculture as business because it has the potential to put money in their pockets and food on their table; all while helping reduce poverty in Liberia.