Sixty smallholder farmers in Bomi County have acquired intensive training in the system of rice intensification (SRI) technology.
SRI is an improved farming methodology to increase the productivity of rice by changing the management practices of the seedlings (plants), water, soil and nutrients to get better yields. This improved technology to grow rice is being practiced by many West African countries and was launched in Liberia in 2013 with the goal of increasing rice production.
The Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) recently signed an agreement with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) with finance from the Japanese Food Security Grant to promote SRI in the targeted counties.
CHAP executive director Robert Bimba, said that the project is meant to help farmers who were affected by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).
At a two-day recently held small scale farmers’ workshop in Tubmanburg, Bimba said the 14-year civil war and the Ebola epidemic undermined the country’s agriculture development.
“One of the worst in human history is the Ebola crisis that affected all sectors of the country including the agriculture, which has moved donors to provide funding to strengthen food production,” he mentioned.
Bimba noted that over US$2 million has been given to Liberia by the Japanese government through the International fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) to support rice and cassava farmers.
He added that the Japanese Rice Grant titled, “Economic Recovery of Liberian Rice Farmers in Ebola Affected Counties” includes Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Lofa and Montserrado counties.
The goal of the grant is to empower poor farmers, particularly 60 percent of women, to overcome the impact of the Ebola crisis, increase their food security and build sustainable agriculture, especially in rice production.
Bimba then called on all farmers in the five Ebola affected counties and other farmers across the country to help grow more rice that will feed Liberians, and also help to strengthen the country’s agriculture sector.
CHAP, being a part of the Japanese Rice Grant, has officially launched the Japanese Rice Project to build the capacity of farmers, linking them to markets and making available seed rice, fertilizers, and rain boots.
The farmers’ spokesperson James Massaley thanked CHAP, the Japanese Government and the Liberian Government, through the MoA, for empowering them.
He said with the empowerment, they will be able to grow more rice to help fight Liberia’s food insecurity problem.
CHAP is a non-governmental organization working with local farmers to improve food security.
(LDEA), auxiliary community watch forums, motorcyclists and ordinary citizens.
Most of the people at the forum said they were happy with the LNP initiative, adding that they were also excited to see security officers marching and dancing together on the streets of Ganta.
“This is my first time to witness such a colorful event; we thank God for the level of peace that has been restored in our country,” said an onlooker.
Speaking on an issue of interest, the Mayor of Ganta, Benjamin Dokpa, extolled the LNP for bringing to book the alleged perpetrators of the recent murder of a NASSCORP worker and her ward.
He said the situation brought a dark cloud over Ganta that created fear in residents. He, meanwhile, asked for logistical support for the LNP Ganta detail.