The Director-General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) is calling on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to assist Liberia by providing technical support to conduct research on sea cucumbers in order to establish the status of the fisheries, the types of species, the commercial viability, quantity, geographical distribution, and environmental impact.
Speaking over the weekend on the margins of the 32nd Regional FAO Meeting for Africa, held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, NaFAA’s Director-General, Emma Metieh Glassco, indicated that the research would help in developing a management plan for the harvesting of the sea cucumber in what she termed as “a more sustainable manner.”
Madam Glassco explained that Sea cucumbers are a highly valuable aquatic resource, especially in Asian markets and at the same time highlighted the need for the FAO to assist Liberia by providing technical support to conduct research.
Madam Glassco also spoke on the Fish and Rice integrated farming, emphasizing the need for the FAO to increase the ongoing technical assistance in integrated fish and rice farming, which is currently being implemented in Bong County as a pilot project to have it expanded to other landlocked counties.
In another development, Madam Glassco has informed the FAO Director-General that in addressing food security, agro-food and agro-business will require the empowerment of the youthful population who she said is the future of Africa. The Liberian Fisheries Boss said the youth remains the most valuable resource of the Continent.
Madam Glassco indicated that “there is a need to build the capacity of the youth in Agro Business, modern farming techniques, new innovations, and agro-food production. This is paramount to addressing food security on the continent,” she emphasized. “Any investment in developing the capacity of the young people is a sustainable approach for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life for all, leaving no one behind”, the Liberian fisheries expert added.
In response, the FAO Director-General, Dr. Qu Dongyu, commended Madam Glassco for attending the 32nd FAO Regional Meeting for Africa and, at the same time, lauded her for her work in the Fisheries sector in Liberia.
Dr. Qu Dongyu reassured Madam Glassco of FAO’s commitment to increase its support to Liberia. The FAO Director-General stated that FAO will engage the Japanese Government to help in securing funding for a research project on the Liberia Sea Cucumber program.
Addressing integrated Rice and Fish Farming, he indicated that FAO will provide more support to the program in order to expand it across Liberia.