The Rapid Food Production Initiative (RFPI), a local food civil society organization advocating for the commercial production of food in Liberia, has lauded the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) for the widespread distribution of farm implements and other inputs to farmers throughout the country.
In a press release, the RFPI says the distribution of farm implements and other inputs will help stimulate the commercial production of food in the country.
Recently, the MOA disclosed in a separate release that it has commenced the distribution of farming implements, fertilizers, and other inputs to farmers in 13 of the 15 counties of Liberia as part of an effort to increase productivity within the agricultural sector.
According to the MOA, the provision of farming inputs is expected to benefit thousands of farmers in the rice, cassava, vegetable, oil palm, rubber, and livestock value chains.
In its release, the RFPI also commended the World Bank and IFAD, through the MOA, for the support they have given the Agriculture Infrastructures Investment Company (AIIC) to facilitate the completion of the mega-rice mill in Foya, Lofa County.
The completion of the rice mill, which has a processing capacity of 16 metric tons of paddy rice per hour, will create a huge market for commercial rice production opportunities for farmers in the vicinity of the processing plant and improve the livelihoods of the residents.
AIIC is one of the several beneficiaries of assistance in the farming sector through the Liberia Agriculture Commercial Fund (LACF), a component of World Bank and IFAD funded projects at the Ministry of Agriculture. The LACF seeks to provide grants to farmers and agribusinesses to increase productivity and commercialize.
However, the RFPI noted that the rice mill and other milling facilities will not become more functional, unless the MoA and its partners work with private sector agro-entrepreneurs to set up rice production hubs or accelerate support to producers capable of producing thousands of metric tons of paddy rice to feed the mills continuously.
Furthermore, the RFPI in its release admonished the MOA to change the food production paradigm in Liberia, by supporting the farmers with more farm machines, for production, harvesting, processing, and storage, which is the only way to achieve commercial food production and reduce food insecurity in the country.