A Liberian farmer who specializes in rice processing in Lofa County has been honored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for his role in enhancing food security.
Mohammed Kamara received the USAID’s food security award recently at a ceremony marking the hosting of the USAID’s 2017 development awards.
Kamara has more than 10 years experience in rice cultivation and processing. He heads the Agriculture Infrastructure Investment Company (AIIC) in Quaduboni District, Lofa County. His organization, with support from partners and the Ministry of Agriculture, is working to multiply and buy seed rice from local farmers in several farming communities, and process the rice for the local market.
“This award is not a surprise for me as we have worked very hard to ensure that farmers get inputs and improved incomes. When we started this journey few years ago, we were not taken serious. Thanks to USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) program and the World Food Program for building our capacity to reach farmers and supply the market,” he said.
Kamara used the occasion to dedicate the award to members of organization, saying that without them AIIC would not have impacted food production.
He told this paper in an exclusive interview that to increase the availability of clean processed rice in farming communities in his county, there is a need for Government to support the private sector by increasing processing facilities with bigger capacity.
“We would like for the Government to help upgrade our processing capacity to enable us process more rice for the community markets. We also want bigger warehouses and some mechanized equipment to increase productivity, he added.
The AIIC processing facility in Lofa processes 3 metric tons of rice daily. The facility was constructed by the FED project, a five year U. S Government agricultural program that ended in 2016.