The general manager of Africa Rice, Dr. Harold Roy-Macauley says mechanized equipment will increase productivity in the agriculture sector.
Speaking recently during a visit to Liberia for the first time, where he toured the work of Africa Rice Liberia in CARI, he said Liberia must prioritize mechanized farming in order to reduce the burden on farmers.
He said to improve the rice value chain to get food sufficiency; value must be added to paddy rice (seed rice) by increasing more processing facilities in rural farming communities in the country.
He explained that if there are more processing opportunities for farmers, it will enhance rice production to improve farmers’ income and increase the availability of processed rice on the local market.
“There is no difference between locally grown rice and the rice that are imported to the country, so we promise to work through the MoA and CARI in making the country food secure,” he said.
He lauded the efforts of farmers across the country for their motivation in growing food in the country, despite the challenges.
He stated that the strong partnership between the government and farmers has shown a clear indication that the local farmers are willing to grow more food.
“We will employ in new method to invest more money for mechanized equipment that will minimize post-harvest losses,” he added.
The Africa Rice boss highlighted key achievements by his organization so far in the Liberian agriculture sector.
He said his organization is working with thousands of farmers in several counties through the distribution of seed rice; introducing new varieties of rice that are adaptable to climate change conditions.
The director general of CARI Dr.Walter Wiles lauded Africa Rice for its numerous contributions to Liberia’s agriculture sector.
Dr.Wiles said to improve production and food security, the center is training more scientists to do research to find solutions to the food insecurity.
“Liberians must have that commitment to grow more food and this can be done when everyone come together and provide support to the process,” Dr.Wiles said.
He encouraged the youth to get involved in agriculture and make Liberia reduce food importation.
Africa Rice Liberia Country Representative Dr. Innousa Akintayo reassured his organization’s commitment to improving local farmers’ productivity.