The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Liberia recently delivered 66 pieces of farm machinery worth a total US$103,000 to 21 women farmers’ cooperatives in Bong, Lofa, Gbarpolu and Nimba counties.
The beneficiaries’ cooperatives are engaged in rice and vegetable production in the targeted counties.
According to the FAO representative, Madam Mariatou Njie, her institution’s involvement to introduce modern farm machines to farmers is meant to change the face of agriculture in Liberia.
Presenting the farm machineries to the Deputy Agriculture Minister for Research and Extension, Dr. George Tee Forpoh, the International Project Coordinator of FAO in Liberia, Madam Mariatou Dagnoko said “the hard works of land preparation, harvesting and threshing paddy rice will be lifted and done in a short duration now with farm machines.” She added that the event is the beginning of a series of handing over of farm machines to farmers within the project’s four implementing counties.
The project, under which these farm machines are handed over to farmers, is titled: ‘Promoting Increased Resilience and Sustainable Income Generation, Food Security and Nutrition for Rural Women’, is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates.
The project seeks to empower rural women, through skills training for the improvement of rice, vegetables and poultry production. It also seeks the promotion of adapted financing for livelihood improvement in the targeted counties.
The FAO Project Coordinator, turning over the farm machinery to the Deputy Agriculture Minister said, “The project will contribute to increase farmers’ resilience, income generation, as well as improve food and nutrition security in Liberia.
Passing on the farm machinery to the Internal Affairs Minister for onward presentation to farmers, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Jeanine Cooper, Dr. Forpoh applauded the people and government of the United Arab Emirates and the FAO in their efforts to support farmers with modern farm machines.
The FAO International Project Coordinator, Madam Mariatou Dagnoko (left), Deputy Agriculture Minister for Research and Extension, Dr. George Tee Forpoh (center), & Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf (right)
Presenting the farm machinery to the farmers, the Internal Affairs Minister, Varney A. Sirleaf, gave a brief background, stating that the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah, in 2019 visited the United Arab Emirates, where he strongly appealed to the government there for investment in agriculture.
He applauded the efforts of President Weah for seeking such assistance for Liberian farmers.
Minister Varney used the occasion to call on FAO to continue to support farmers with the farm machinery to enable them to increase productivity.
He urged the farmers to make good use of the farm machines.
“We shall conduct a joint monitoring exercise to see how these farm machines are being utilized,” he told the farmers.
In response, on behalf of the beneficiary communities, the Chairlady of Tarkpoima Women Farmers, Madam Hawa Patrick, expressed profound thanks and appreciation for the assistance from the United Arab Emirates and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Meanwhile, Madam Patrick has asked FAO for a provision of stipends for community technicians who are helping the women in their farm works.
She said the stipends, when made available, will strengthen the works of the technicians to better support the farmers.