Some subsistence farmers of Bong County, particularly those residing in Salala, Salala District, have said that the lack of support to farmers is making lives unbearable for the people in the area.
They made the disclosure in exclusive interviews with the Daily Observer on New Year’s Eve 2013, at their various Watch Night services in Salala Town.
The services were attended by over 300 hundred residents of the community; including church leaders and the local authorities.
This tradition is held at the end of every year by all the various denominations. It is intended to give Christian worshipers opportunities to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the New Year.
At their assorted services on Tuesday, the farmers explained that the conditions of lives in their area were appalling because there was no support being received from government and NGOs.
According to the farmers, the lack of improvement to the Salala to Kinsley road is a serious problem as they find it very difficult to take their produce to the market.
They, therefore, called on the government to organize appropriate programs to benefit them.
Salala Town used to be considered one of the bread baskets of Bong County. In the eighties the Bong County Agriculture Cooperative Development Project (BCACDP) organized farmers in the area and provided all necessary support for them.
BCACDP laid out several lowlands (swamp) in the community; that if reconstructed and cultivated, could help increase food production in the area.
However, it is noted that, since the end of the civil crisis, there has not been any organized programs in Salala that would assist the farmers.
Other business people of Salala also told our reporter that life is difficult because they cannot find more customers to buy their goods.
They expressed the need to be given loans to help them improve their business.
The Head of Communion Farm in Salala District, Buster Thomas, explained to this paper that production of food in his district is being seriously hindered as more farmers are lacking in support.
“There are many of our citizens interested in growing food to make the district self-sufficient who need help,” he emphasized.
Mr. Thomas disclosed that his office has registered over 900 farmers within the various villages in the district.
He stated that a lack of logistics to reach as many farmers serves as setback for him.
For his part, a sugar cane farmer, J. Diakina Farwah, said that agriculture should be seen as the most viable option for residents of Salala.
“The soil is the best option for the residents of this area to improve our lives,” Mr. Farwah asserted.
They therefore called on the attention of Liberian government to create the necessary economic opportunities to help them advance their lives.