The United States Agencies for International Development/Food and Enterprise Development Program in Liberia (USAID/FED) on Thursday, April 3, certificated 30 persons, after completing 10 days of training on quality seed assurance and certification at the Central Agricultural Research Institution (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County.
The training was intended to produce qualified seed certifiers for Liberia to work with local farmers in processing quality seed.USAID/FED conducted the training in collaboration with CARI.
The participants were drawn from four counties, including Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Bassa. They were taught the necessary procedures required in producing good seed, which include, land preparation, fertilization application, seed processing, and seed germination among others topics.
The USAID FED Program for Liberia aims to reduce hunger and promote food security for Liberians by increasing agricultural productivity and profitability across food based value chains, stimulating enterprise development and building the agriculture workforce.
The program is implemented in six counties, namely Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Montserrado.
CARI and USAID/FED have entered into a partnership for the development of Liberia seed certification and to stimulate rice seed multiplication.
Speaking during the close of the workshop on Thursday, April 03, 2014 in CARI, the Bong County Manager for the USAID/FED project, Gala Toto, said that the training was important to enhancing his institution’s work with farmers in the country.
“This training is a very important milestone, moving Liberia forward for the accessibility of seed for local farmers. It has been a dream for FED to enter in to partnership with CARI to help build the human resource capacities of the country’s agricultural sector. Therefore, we considered the training as a great achievement,” he declared.
He expressed the need for continued collaboration between USAID/FED and CARI in training more technicians for the sector.
The Bong County USAID/FED Manager then questioned the participants to make every effort to make use of the knowledge acquired.
Representing CARI’s manager, Aaron Marshall, at the close of the training workshop was the agriculture engineer of CARI Samuel V. Morris Sr.
Mr. Morris said the workshop was impressive in making sure that local farmers get access to better seed to improve crop production.
For his part, the seed specialist for Africa Rice, Adetumbi Johnson Adedayo, said the workshop was one of the indications that Liberia is beginning to compete with other African countries, particularly those in the sub region.
“With this set of people trained, we believe that farmers in Liberia will now understand the importance of producing improved seed to increase production,” he said.
He asked the participants to take their responsibilities as a form of team work, adding it would require tireless effort to reach more farmers.
Randolf R. Kolleh, a participant of the workshop who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, described the training as a first step in the right direction.
“The issue of seed industry in Liberia is just beginning and we are convinced that such training is very helpful. As participants we are so appreciative to the organizers for the opportunity created to go out there and work with farmers,” he concluded.