AEL Urges Local Farmers Toward Value Addition

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Provides US$56K farming equipment

A local non-governmental faith based organization Association of Evangelicals of Liberia ( AEL), has turned over several farming equipment to local farmers in Gibi District, Margibi County, under the Jersey Project, funded by the AEL’s partners in the United States.

The farming equipment turned over to the local farmers include rice mills and threshers and their respective accessories, as well as four storage facilities (buildings).

The value of the equipment and the facilities is put at US$56,400.

The gesture is part of the institution’s ongoing Liberia post-Ebola recovery project, which focuses on promoting Access to Resources for the most vulnerable.

Bobby B. Konata, AEL’s Project Supervisor in Margibi County who presented the equipment, said the dedication is in continuation of the previous dedication of some of the storage facilities and rice milling machines made by the organization.

He indicated that the project focuses on value addition, stating that, for so long, most Liberian farmers have very small farms such that, after harvest is done, there is only enough to feed the family, not even for the next farming season.

Mr. Konata said the AEL believes the gesture aims to encourage farmers to grow bigger farms.

The AEL Project supervisor indicated that in order to have bigger farms, the farmers have to take one step further from just the cutlasses and hoes to machines that they can use to develop the swamp and, thereafter, add value.

Konata said with the provision of the machines to the farmers, it will help the government in promoting agriculture in the country.

He said that there are four hundred farmers that cut across the Gibi and Kakata Health Districts that are benefiting from the project.

The AEL Project supervisor indicated that AEL is working in 16 different Communities within the two Districts and each Community has 25 persons per group.

He asserted that lots of these farmers are being trained in operating and maintaining the machines, and that even though it is quite strange, they will have to get used to it.

He said that the project is in its third year and hopefully by 2020 AEL will be pulling out and the project will be managed by the government. “That is why I am happy today that we can have a local authority from the Ministry of Agriculture here with us.”

The Agriculture Coordinator in Margibi County, E. Musu Tuah Younn, urged the farmers, especially the women, to take the equipment as their personal properties. She however promised to retrieve the equipment, as per the memorandum of understanding, if the beneficiaries cannot make proper use of those machines.

Thanking the AEL for the initiative, she assured the organization that her office will play a major role in the maintenance aspect of the equipment.

Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the project have lauded AEL for the provision of the equipment and storage facilities and, at the same time, promised to have them used for the intended purpose and properly maintained.

The project is being funded by Jersey through Tearfund, a UK-based Christian Organization partnering with the Association of Evangelicals Liberia

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