MoA to Recruit 100 Youth to Assist Farmers

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Agriculture Minister-designate Saklau Wiles

By Judoemue kollie

The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in partnership with the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA) has disclosed that 100 youth with BSC or Associate degree in agriculture will be recruited as volunteers to provide short term extension related services to smallholder farmers across the country.

The qualified youths when recruited will work with assigned County Agriculture Coordinators (CAC) in the various counties, local authorities and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector for a period of six months. According to the Deputy Minister for Regional Development Research and Extension at the MOA, Thomas Gbokie, the recruits will be duly compensated for their services.

The MOA release said the assignment will focus mainly on identifying and training smallholder farmer organizations and micro-processors in business management skills and cassava aggregation and processing.

The program is part of the Liberian government’s ‘150 Days Deliverables’ initiative that seeks to further enhance food security in the country.

Deputy Minister Gbokie, explained to the Daily Observer via mobile phone that the initiative will create employment opportunities for the youth and help improve the farming activities of smallholder farmers across the country.

“The goal of this program is to put money into the pockets of the farmers as these youth will work in linking farmers with processors, mainly in the cassava value chain. They are to work directly with our field officers to create market linkages and help farmers and processors to develop business management skills,” he said.

“The cassava sector is one area where the ministry and partners are making great strides to improve the lives of farmers and improve food security,” he added.

He said that the initiative is also meant to address the challenge of extension services that is still facing the agriculture sector.

Statistics show that extension delivery service is a major constraint in the country’s agriculture sector. In Liberia, only one out of nine farmers has access to extension services.

According to Minister Gbokie, the MOA intends to improve on extension services for farmers in order to “move agriculture forward.”

“There must be a complete structure created at the Ministry that will address the issue of extension services for farmers. We cannot ‘move agriculture forward’ if there are not more extension workers in the various areas of disciplines in the sector. We need mechanized officers, youth and disabled farm officers, tree crops officers assigned at county and district levels to increase the number of extension delivery services for farmers,” he explained.

Minister Gbokie stated that the youth volunteers when recruited are expected to begin work in the assigned counties in this month.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Comment:MY NAME IS TERRY SAAH,I am a 2013 _2014 graduate from the E.J.Yancy High school on Lower Bong and hold C” Certificate in general agriculture from the Klay agriculture and vocational training center in Bomi and presently undergoing two days intensive training on Agro_Meteorology Dissemination on Available Weather and Climate that affect our farmers in the surrounding areas which is implemented by Brac in Kingville #7.With my support and volunteered assistant have been giving to farmers in Lower Bong I am humbly asking Ministry of Agriculture to recognize me as one Of their Agent to continue this youth Volunteerism in my county which is very important to our farmers.

    • It said somewhere in the article that the volunteers will be compensated. Nothing’s free these days even in America where the greenbacks are made.

      I like the idea though. But MoA should look at efficient farming methods that yield more. The age-old clash and burn method our parents use in the interior destroys our forests and environment. Using swampland and specially designated mainland could be helpful. Swampland used by From God to Man in my hometown of Doumpa yields more and farming is done three times a year. Nice idea to get Kids with Agricultural training involved.

  2. what do you mean volunteers? How will they get to work? How will they eat? Let some of our fat senators go volunteer.

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