SAMJAC Agro Industry Cooperation in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture has intensified the production of cassava in Kakata, Margibi County.
The SAMJAC AGRO Corporation recently embarked on its cassava yield and palatability check in Jackville, Margibi County to showcase its products from the most modern farming method, according to its Chief Executive Officer Sam Mentee.
Mr. Mentee explained that the project is intended to enable farmers to improve their cassava farming in a modern way.
He disclosed that the organization needs more equipment, including machines that will be able to process their cassava to add more value to their produce, adding that the lack of processing machines and customers is creating serious problems for farmers.
He asserted that though there are lots of challenges facing the farmers in the county, there is still need for them to move from their old style of farming to the most modern farming method, highlighting marketing as a major challenge facing farmers.
“There are about ten varieties of cassava that are being checked and showcased here in Jackville, Margibi County, and if we receive the support we need all of our farmers from over six communities will improve their farming in Liberia,” he said.
He said farmers are doing their best to improve but they lack the necessary farming equipment needed to make their work more effective and simple.
“The best way to improve in cassava farming is by adding value to it and turning it into gari, depor, fufu among others for human consumption,” he explained.
Mr. Mentee however called on farmers to take ownership of what they are doing, stressing that in order for Liberia to have food security, farmers should be prepared to take the lead in food development in the country.
Also speaking at the ceremony, farmer Mrs. Hannah Slocum, who has the largest cassava farm in the county, mentioned the lack of necessary farming equipment as the major problem affecting female farmers.
She said women farmers are facing lots of challenges, ranging from transportation and buyers and noted that if women farmers are supported with all the necessary farming equipment, they will be able to supply the country with food.
Mrs. Slocum disclosed that about seventy five percent of women in Margibi County are farmers and they have also been trained on improved cassava farming and as such they need to be supported by the Government of Liberia and its partners.
The Ministry of Agriculture through its West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP), Representative Mr. Bosco Harmon called on farmers to adapt to new methods, stressing that though it is expensive, the government through the Ministry will continue to work with them to ensure that they achieve the goal of the project.
Mr. Harmon said Liberians can produce their own food if they go back to the soil, which will help improve the lives of citizens, especially those in the rural areas.
For his part, USAID’s representative Samba Kawa, urged the farmers to be organized in order to improve their farming in the country because it is possible for Liberians to feed the country through what they grow on their farms.
He added that it is necessary for farmers to have the basic farming equipment and his institution will try to listen to the voices of farmers.