A local non-governmental organization (NGO), “Project New Outlook (PNO)” based in Barnard Farm, Montserrado County, is currently involved in empowering vulnerable women in Liberia with knowledge on the production of vegetables and poultry.
The project is being carried out in twenty four communities located in Montserrado and Mar-Gibi Counties.
It is supported through Finn Church Aid, an international NGO operating in the country.
Speaking exclusively with the Daily Observer recently at her office in Bernard Farm, Paynesville, the executive director of PNO, Mrs. Beatrice Togba Wuo, disclosed that around ninety vulnerable women are currently benefiting from the program.
She stated that it is meant to empower less fortunate women in urban and rural communities to earn income through agriculture to support their families.
“Finn Church Aid supports this project that seeks to identify vulnerable women chosen from various communities of the two counties. They are widows and single women who are being supported so they can produce vegetables and eggs,” she disclosed.
According to her, the women are vetted based on their interest in farming and taught all the necessary skills needed for the production of poultry and vegetables.
She said that each beneficiary of the project is being given 30 layers to raise and market.
“We help the ladies with materials to build the poultry houses for breeding chickens. They learn how to produce local and exotic vegetables in cement bags, rich with fertile soil,” Madam Wuo explained.
She informed our reporter that the lack of irrigated water systems and the unavailability of feed served as major constraints to the implementation of the project.
“The organization does not have the means to produce the necessary feed to give out to farmers. The issue of a hatchery is another major problem confronting the program. This is why we would like to appeal for assistance from the government and its partners in addressing these problems.
Meanwhile, some beneficiaries of the program have thanked PNO and its partner for the opportunities created to improve their lives.
Kamah Kollie, who spoke to the Daily Observer, said the program has contributed immensely to transforming her life.
“Though I am a widow, my life has changed thanks to this project. I sell the eggs to make money so I can provide food for my children and send them to school,” she said.
For her part, Sankay Momo, another beneficiary, said, “Initially, we did not know how to plant crops well to make more money. With the help received from PNO and its partner we have become independent,” she said.
PNO grows soy beans to address lack of animal feed
PNO’s executive director has disclosed that due to the difficulty in getting feed to supply the farmers, they have, for the first time, established a demonstration site to multiply the production of soy beans.
“We intend to multiply more soy bean seeds so that farmers would be able to grow them. We will process it with the maize (corn) to be used as feed for the chickens,” Madam Wuo told this paper.
She said that about 4 acres of land has been embarked upon for the cultivation of maize.
Soy bean is a significant and cheap source of animal feed. Though not grown by many farmers in the country, Liberian soil has been tested and proven ideal for the production of the crop.