Amid challenges in Liberia’s agriculture sector, the Center for Women Agriculture Program (CWAP), a non-profit organization in Saclepea, Nimba County, is involved in improving the skills of more than one thousand farmers in the county in order to adopt different types of technology in tree crops production and increase farm productivity.
CWAP Project Manager, Edward Kalayi, told the Daily Observer recently on his farm that the initiative is meant to reduce poverty in the lives of the farmers.
He said his institution has brought into the country an improved cocoa variety (‘PA 15’) that is highly disease resistant and of high yield, adding that farmers in various communities are adopting the PA 15.
“We’re training people to plant pollination in order to get resistant cocoa variety that has a short duration,” he said.
He stated that with the involvement of his organization to import improved cocoa seedling, local farmers would assess more planting materials in the future.
“There is a notion that cocoa grown in Liberia cannot meet international standards, but our activities, which include working with small-holder farmers, will erase such perception,” he said.
Mr. Kalayi further said his organization is also training farmers in nearby communities to adopt the method in producing citrus crops all year round, so as to increase income generation.
He stated that their farming activities are contributing to the sustainability of the agriculture sector in the county. However, he explained that the lack of logistics and deplorable road conditions are major constraints facing farmers. “We’re appealing to the government to assist us with logistics so that we can reach more farmers with extension services,” he added.
The CWAP has also established a modern agro-inputs store that is equipped with various agro-chemical and inputs, to increase delivery to farmers.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rebecca Kalayi, said with the provision of the shop in the community, more farmers are now accessing inputs in order to improve crop production.
“The farmers can access inputs from the shop at an affordable cost. We also teach them how to use inputs in the appropriate manner,” she stated.