Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana S. Flomo Jr. has extolled the Chinese Government for investing in the sector to improve Liberia’s quest to become self-sufficient in food production.
Minister Flomo spoke at the inauguration of the Chinese hybrid rice extension and demonstration site on Saturday, June 9, in Foya, Lofa County.
Flomo described China as one of the biggest contributors to Liberia’s post-war development drive, most importantly in the agricultural sector.
He said that the Chinese have immensely contributed to the country’s infrastructure development over the last 13 years, resulting to increased access to basic social services across the country mainly through grant support to the Liberian government.
Minister Flomo specified that key areas of Chinese support to Liberia include health, education, agriculture, science and technology, road and electricity restoration.
“As part of support to agriculture development, China-Liberia signed a memorandum that aims to establish a framework for cooperation and understanding, to promote agricultural technology and further strengthen bilateral cooperation and technical training, demonstration, extension and farm development at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in central Liberia,” Flomo said.
Under the scheme, the Kpatawee Farmer Based Organization, a local agriculture production group, is being assisted with advanced Chinese technology, to improve agricultural production and increase food yield in the country.
At present, according to Minister Flomo, Chinese agriculture technicians are aiding local farmers in rice and vegetable in Kpatawee on the 50 acres of land the local community set aside for the project.
Since the establishment of the China-Liberia Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center, there have been training opportunities for Liberians in the areas of rice, vegetable, cassava, animal husbandry, machine operation and other agriculture related entrerprises.
In August of 2005, lawmakers of the 52nd Legislature jointly passed a Resolution No. 001, which confirmed and reaffirmed the government’s total and unwavering commitment to the one China policy, a resolution which made the policy irreversible, according to Flomo.
Ming, a Chinese interpreter, said that the program covers 50 hectares of land, including 22 and 28 hectares of lowland and upland respectively.
The program, accordingly, focuses on providing technical support through training and field technical advice to farmers.
“We provide rice production technology training, including water control, weeding, fertilizer application and pest and disease control for the farmers in order to have good yield,” Mr. Wing said.
He disclosed that his organization has conducted technical training to 77 participants mainly farmers and field technicians under the program in Lofa County. The training mainly concentrates on hybrid rice nursery technology, hybrid rice transplanting technology and rice field maintenance technology.