In a bid to improve Liberia’s food security, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), through one of its food crop projects, the West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP-Liberia) is expected to introduce a 10-year agriculture project to local farmers in eight of the 15 counties of Liberia.
The occasion, which began recently in Gbarnga, continues up to Friday in other parts of the country.
The National Project Coordinator for WAAPP-Liberia, Cyrus Saygbe made the disclosure over the weekend in Kakata, MarGibi County, at the end of a three-day workshop for agriculture stakeholders.
The WAAPP-Liberia project was launched in Monrovia in November of 2012, in hope of increasing rice and cassava production in Liberia, with funding from the World Bank and the government of Japan.
It is a regional agriculture program carried out in 13 West African countries.
According to Mr. Saygbe the introduction of the program is intended to acquaint local farmers in the targeted counties about the project to enhance food security.
He said that when the program is introduced, farmers would be empowered to produce more food in their county.
“The project is intended to improve the productivity of local farmers in the cassava and rice value chains in order to enhance the country’s food self-sufficiency; while the long range plan is to increase food production in the entire sub-region” he said.
.The WAAPP-Liberia coordinator said that farmers in the targeted counties are expected to receive the distribution of improved planting materials for rice and cassava.
Mr. Saygbe continued “As the program is introduced to farmers, improve varieties of seed rice and cassava cuttings would be distributed to stage their projects. About 50 metric tons of seed rice for the counties in the south-east and 50 metric tons for Bong County.”
He added that around 48 hectares multiplied with improved cassava cuttings would also be distributed to farmers.
According to him, these planting materials are currently being multiplied at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Bong County.
In order to address the challenges faced by local farmers in their production fields, a new communication device will be initiated shortly by his institution, Saygbe revealed..
“It shall help farmers to communicate difficulties of diseases and pests to extension workers to improve the farmers’ productivity,” he concluded.