Robert Fagans, Deputy Minister for Planning and Development at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has lauded the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) in Liberia for their continuous support toward the country’s agricultural sector.
Receiving a consignment of assorted agro-machines, vehicles, desktop computers, generators, and motorized water pumps among other assets from authorities of WFP last Thursday at the MoA central office in Congo Town, Minister Fagans stated that WFP has a long standing relationship with his ministry when it comes to support for smallholder farmers.
“We are not surprised by this gesture from WFP because of its numerous assistance in building the capacity of the sector in the past. This assistance is very timely, especially when the Government is contemplating on moving agriculture forward,” he said.
According to him, as the President Weah improves on road connectivity, the agriculture sector still remains a priority for the development of the country.
“The most important area that the Government is laying emphasis on currently is agriculture, as being expressed in the President’s recent annual address. The President is determined to run with agriculture at its full speed,” Fagans said.
He said the MOA will ensure that the equipment be used to strengthen the capacity of smallholder farmers.
The donation of the equipment and vehicles is in furtherance of WFP’s strategic assistance to the Government and peoples of Liberia in reaching farming populations through food production and nutrition assistance, building community resilience, and enhancing the capacity of the local farmers to manage their nutritious food needs, according to authorities at WFP.
The equipment include one hard-top jeep and one double cabin pickup, 10 motorized water pumps, nine power tillers, one rice dryer, and 17 rice threshers. Others are six 5KVA generators, six desktop computers as well as 30 water discharge hoses and 15 floater wheel tires.
Aaron Sleh, WFP’s Head of Support Services Unit and Officer-in-Charge, said that the donation is in line with WFP’s country strategic plan that requires Program to help strengthen capacities of national and sub-national institutions of government.
He reiterated WFP’s full readiness to continue serving as a reliable partner of choice to the government in strengthening food systems and empowering people and communities towards their food security and nutrition needs.
“This is WFP’s livelihood assets and market programs, which support vulnerable communities to develop key community farm assets, thus promoting resilient agricultural practices for staple food production along the value chain,” he said.