Liberia: MoA-RETRAP Project Delivers Farm Tractor, Motorbikes to CARI

The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) through its Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP) recently presented a brand new 75 Horsepower farm tractor and three Yamaha motorbikes to the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County. 

The support is meant to strengthen the institutional capacity of CARI. 

Making the presentation on behalf of the ministry, Tarnue N. Jeke, RETRAP’s Operations Manager, said the MOA will always work with CARI to improve its capacity. 

“We are partners in this sector with the same desire to drive our beneficiaries in the direction of good agriculture practices and climate smart agriculture that will see their productivity increased and earn them more income. For us to achieve that, institutions, like CARI, involved with studying and recommending ways that our farmers can improve their activities, need to be fully supported. That is why we, as a development partner with funding from the World Bank and through the Ministry of Agriculture, are here to provide additional support to the research institute”, he said. He also admonished the administration of CARI to properly maintain the equipment to ensure it serves the institute for a longer period.

Receiving the equipment on behalf of CARI, Sundesco Clarke, Administrative Assistant to the Director General, extended gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture through the project, noting that the donation was timely. 

“For more than ten years, CARI has not had access to such a brand-new tractor. To compound that dilemma, the only tractor at the institute is facing a serious mechanical fault that has caused a major breakdown in our operations. This could not have come at a better time,” he said.

He noted that CARI is excited that there is now a solution to the problem of tilling the soil, thanks to the availability of the tractor and pledged the institution’s commitment to maintaining the equipment.

In a separate remark, the CARI project focal person at RETRAP, Jobson Momo, disclosed that CARI is also expected to benefit from solar lighting facilities at the living quarters and along the pathways of the institute. Currently, the lack of electricity for scientists and their families residing at the CARI campus is a serious challenge that affects research activities after the closure of the administrative office each evening. 

The provision of the solar power systems will enable continuous work by the scientists who are engaged with a lot of research activities beyond the usual working hours.

The RETRAP, which seeks to develop or enhance competitiveness and market access through productive alliances, as well as strengthening agri-marketing and engaging in road infrastructure investments, is implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture through the World Bank’s Project Implementation Unit (PIU). The project targets 60,000 beneficiaries in the cassava, rubber, vegetable, pig and poultry value chains.

The five years project is expected to build the capacity of the research institution (CARI), mainly in the area of capacity building, including training of staff, the provision of equipment and other technical support.