The Mayor Farmers Association (MFA) in Foya, Lofa County, has lauded the United States Agency for International Development Food and Enterprise Development (USAID FED) for its support that has increased its harvest to 11.5 hectares of lowland rice.
The MFA said its first huge production will be more than 1,000 bags of seed rice.
At a major harvest festival last Wednesday in Foya, Deputy Chief of Party of USAID FED, Boima Bafaie said USAID FED is the flagship program to increase productivity and profitability of food crops and to stimulate growth of agricultural enterprises in Liberia.
Mr. Bafaie said the program seeks to increase food production in four food value chains, including cassava, goats, fishery and rice as well as promote private sector growth to enforce capacity of human development.
“We have inaugurated the science soil lab in Voinjama that many of you will use to grow. This program is President Obama’s own initiative to increase food production and reduce food insecurity in the country,” Mr. Bafaie said.
He said USAID FED has been working with MFA to help increase food production and it is currently constructing rice-keeping hubs and urged them to take full ownership of the services.
“We like to see the beneficiaries using these resources wisely, including the rice hub, power tillers among others to ensure that other farmers can also use these facilities. We want the Mayor Farmers to improve on the little assistance because USAID FED will not be around forever,” he cautioned.
Also speaking, MFA’s Assistant Program Manager Fayiah Tandanpolie, said he was delighted about the third harvest program of the Mayor Farmers to buttress government’s efforts in reducing poverty.
Mr. Tandanpolie said through the intervention of USAID FED program in Liberia and a loan from LEAD, the Mayor Farmers Association was able to achieve in so many areas, including the purchase of 2.5 acres of land as personal asset for the association, a warehouse and a proposed animal husbandry.
“We have also extended our cultivation from 7 hectares to 15 and provided financial aid to school going children of our female members. We have acquired farming inputs such as power tillers, the ongoing construction of a rice hub and the expected machines for the hub on a cost sharing basis,” he explained.
He said the organization is currently faced with huge challenges, including mobility that would help in transporting seeds to farmers, lack of a dam to enable them to produce three times a year and lack of equipment that will graduate farmers to mechanized farming.