The Lofa County Agriculture Coordination (CAC) office has recorded a remarkable progress in its drive to purchase paddy rice from rice farmers in the seven administrative districts.
In a guided tour of three of the paddy rice warehouses in Voinjama City, Ministry of Agriculture’s (MOA) Senior Cooperative Extension Officer J. Borley Dovee said there is more rice stockpiled in the seven administrative districts in Lofa County.
According to the CAC official, at the three CAC warehouses, a little over 40,000 bags of harvested paddy rice is stockpiled and ready for sale to any potential buyer in the country.
During the tour, it was observed that the next challenge is the availability of space for the incoming harvested rice from the farmers in the seven administrative districts.
Agriculture Extension Officer Dovee pointed out that despite the huge impact of the Ebola virus in Lofa County, rice farmers have demonstrated their determination to grow the nation’s staple food.
He also explained that the Liberian government, through the MOA, must galvanize the needed resources to buy the harvested and processed rice from the farmers.
“Our rice and other cash crop farmers are ever ready to produce the needed food that could feed the greater portion of the country,’’ Mr. Dovee asserted.
In some encounters with the rice farmers in Voinjama City last week, they underscored the need for the provision of money and other vital technical extension services that would maximize rice production in the county.
Farmer Flomo B. Mulbah, 44, told the Daily Observer that he has more rice that has been stockpiled in the village awaiting transportation to the CAC’s warehouses in Voinjama City.
“Some of us are very determined to produce more rice but, we need technical extension services in order to increase our production capacity,” farmer Mulbah emphasized.
Another rice farmer Peter Y. Akoiwala, 38, said: “We want our government and partners to help train and give us the needed financial and technical and extension services that would improve our financial conditions as rural farmers.”
Farmer Saybah Monigo Jallah, 45, intimated that as a female rice farmer involved in lowland rice production, she wants to work with men in order to improve her life.
“I’m skilful in lowland rice production and this has helped me and my family survive most our food security challenges in my district,” Jallah averred.
She also underscored the need for the Liberian government through the MOA and agriculture support partners to prioritize the production of rice to beat back the huge importation of the commodity in the country.
“We can feed ourselves and be able to export rice to other countries since our soil is one of the best for the production of any crop on our continent,” Jallah indicated.