The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) through the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC) project on Monday, December 24, 2018, signed and awarded over US$3,353,775.03 in contracts to eight local construction companies.
The beneficiary companies are Liberia Reconstruction Development Company (LRDC), JEAMCCO, Tarhini Construction, Bong Infrastructure, Justmart Engineers (Liberia) Ltd., Perfect Trading and Construction Services, Afro Construction Company and JLN B360.
The contract, which was signed between the MOA/SAPEC and contractors at the Project Management Unit (PMU) MOA annex in Fendell, is intended for local contractors to build and rehabilitate the Robersport market, Grand Bassa market, particularly in Compound 3; Construction of the Geeken Market in Grand Kru County; the renovation of the Kakata Market Building and the renovation of the Pleebo Market in Maryland County.
Others include the renovation and expansion of Philadelphia technology transfer center in Maryland, Kaweaken Market and the Kaweaken technology training center, respectively.
At the signing and award ceremony, Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana S. Flomo, urged contractors to implement the projects according to the plan.
He said, “Today is another good time for us at the MOA, because we are about to begin some of our works that are intended to improve the lives of our poor people, the farmers and people from the community.
“And, we are happy because all of us here are a part of this process and we are making history that will be narrated by those that will come after us; so we want to thank all of you for being part of this history.”
Dr. Flomo explained that the MOA has had too many times where people have said “we do nothing and we are receiving huge amount of money without implementing any project; and most of the time people are saying these things based on the implementation of the project. So, those of you we have trusted with contracts to do certain work, we will be expecting you to do your best and make us proud.”
He told the contractors that they want to make sure that MOA, under his administration, changes the story going forward because for all the of money being pumped into the agriculture sector there appears to be little or no impact.
Flomo said Government of Liberia led by President George M. Weah is under serious pressure to work and make sure that citizens of this country are satisfied, especially when it comes to food insecurity.
He further urged the contractors that these are the basic activities that will tell the citizens that the Government is working, “so our engagement with the communities [is to say] that this is the Government of Liberia’s project; these projects are supported by our partners, donors, but they are all Government’s projects.”
Dr. Flomo said most of the time, staff at the Ministry do not let the people know that these are government projects or what the government is doing. “So, as we implement, let us tell them that this is government work, this is what government is doing in your community.”
William Kawalawu, the project coordinator of SAPEC at the MOA said the objective of the project is to increase on a sustainable level, the income of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs, particularly women, youth and physically challenged persons.
He stated that the Project is funded by the government of Liberia, Global Agriculture and Food Security Program/World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Kawalawu said the signing of the contracts has to do with component two of the SAPEC project, which talks about value addition on marketers and production.
He added that the MOA also wants to add value addition, provide linkage to Government fund to the market and at the same time provide good environment for marketing.
“Want to make the farmers’ produce more competitive on the market, so this is why, today, we are signing these contracts,” the SAPEC project coordinator said.
In remarks, the General Manager of Perfect Trading and Construction Services, Foraday G. Moore, who spoke on behalf of the contractors, lauded the Government through the MOA for providing them the opportunity to participate in the rebuilding process of Liberia.
He told the MOA staff that with the confidence reposed in them, they will do their best to work in time to produce quality job.