The Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) has lauded US-based humanitarian organization, Indigenous People Foundation (IPF), for contributing to Liberia’s food security with a grant of $2,500 to improve farmers’ productivity.
IPF’s mission is to serve and empower indigenous people by developing environmentally sound and self-sustaining programs in agriculture, education and small businesses.
CHAP Executive Director, Robert Bimba, said the grant was made available when he visited the U.S. with invitation and support from the Abide in the Vine Fellowship in Owego, New York, which is headed by Bishop Fred Hoover. Bimba spoke recently to farmers about the grant at his office in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
He told farmers that during the visit he had the opportunity to share the impact of his agricultural program and ministry at the Morning Star Fellowship 2019 Retreat where he briefed the body of how CHAP is promoting Liberian farmers’ productivity through the use of a little rotary power tiller, which is a labor saving device to minimize manual labor in the agricultural sector.
Bimba used the occasion to appeal for more assistance to Liberian farmers.
“As a result of my request, the organization provided a grant of US$2,500, which we augmented to purchase one rotary power tiller to advance the productivity of farmers under our program,” he informed the farmers.
Bimba said the grant was necessary, especially where the agricultural sector is receiving limited support from the government.
“There are limited resources being provided by the government to assist farmers at the moment. The provision of such funding will help move the lives of farmers that we worked with,” he said.
He further said that the machine will be used to assist farmers expand their fields in six communities in Montserrado County.
“We are working to replace hoes and cutlasses with machines to eradicate manual labor in the farming sector,” Bimba said. He added that CHAP is in need of additional support from the U.S. donor to enable them reach more farmers.
Esther King Lincoln, a farmer beneficiary of the Magama Farmer Group in Brewerville, said members of the community spent lots of money to hire laborers, adding that with the use of machines they will be able to make bigger farms.
“We would like to thank IPF through CHAP for this timely gesture that will improve our faming activities to support our families,” she said.
Esther added that her farming organization’s partnership with CHAP has been fruitful. She however lamented on the poor extension services that farmers are currently experiencing in the agriculture sector.
“We are appealing to the government to empower CHAP so that many of the rural citizens can be encouraged to engage in agriculture,” she said.
CHAP is a national initiative that specializes in rice, animal and crop production, including value chain and marketing, working in urban and rural areas in Liberia Since 2008. It has been a major service provider in Liberia’s agriculture sector by providing extension services, farmers advisory services, System of Rice Intensification and System of Crop Intensification. CHAP is also the first to introduce rotary power tiller, cutter bar, marketing, training.
CHAP has trained 10,000 smallholder farmers, technicians and market aggressors since 2010 to 2018 across the country.
The organization is currently implementing the Rice Investment Scheme for Empowerment (RISE) and Vegetable Investment Scheme for Empowerment (VISE) with over 5,000 smallholder farmers in Lofa, Bomi, Cape Mount, Montserrado, Nimba, and Grand Gedeh counties.