The chairman of the Dokodan Farmers’ Cooperative in Gbedin, Nimba County, has called on the government and its partners in the agriculture sector to provide support to them in order to boost food production.
Mr. Jefferson Togbah made the appeal last Saturday when he spoke on behalf of his group during a program marking the harvest of 164 hectares of foundation seed rice under the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and West Africa Agriculture Production Program (WAAPP) Liberia project in Gbedin, Nimba County.
Mr. Togba disclosed that members of his group are willing to grow more food to boost food security and to serve as seed producing farmers in Liberia.
He said agricultural equipment, including yellow machines that would maintain the farm to market roads, power tillers, and processing machines, would boost food production.
He appealed to the partners to work with local farmers across the country and in all of the fifteen counties adding that: “If farmers are provided the necessary support needed the country would reach a point of feeding itself and begin exporting food to other countries.”
He called on the Minister of Agriculture to work with local farmers for the successful implementation of food security in the country adding that agriculture is the only way to improve the country’s economy.
He described agriculture as a business and therefore urged the government and its partners to empower local farmers in various value chains for the betterment of the country.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Moses Zinnah, stated that there is no debate that agriculture holds the future of every country, but all of the country’s important commodities are not improving.
He disclosed that agriculture is at a turning point and it is not only the Ministry of Agriculture but the issue requires the efforts of everyone to improve production.
He encouraged farmers to keep up the good work by tirelessly endeavoring to improve the agriculture sector. He further urged them to shift from just near position to taking all of the value chains.
“We are overwhelmed by the huge production of rice in Lofa and other counties and we will work with you farmers for the continuation of a vibrant agriculture sector,” Minister Zinnah said.
He acknowledged land preparation as a challenge for farmers but he promised to settle the issue by bringing in yellow machines and other equipment to help farmers.
“It’s time for everyone to work hard to boost maximum food production and we will leave a mark that will have no match,” he assured.
Meanwhile, the Gbedin rice project is just one of the many forms of support with which the World Bank is engaged in the agro sector.
The Dokodan farmer’s Cooperative in Gbedin, Nimba County, where 164 hectares of low land rice is being cultivated through AfricaRice Center under a WAAPP Liberia supported arrangement started in October 2015 with full support from the Bank through WAAPP and implemented by AfricaRice Center.
The farmers have more than 900 acres of 164 hectares planted under NERICAL 19 with the total number of the members in 250 from 12 farmers .