In response to the logistical needs of the Ministry of Agriculture to decentralize activities in the agriculture sector, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has turned over two Yamaha motorbikes and accessories to the Government of Liberia through MOA).
The gesture is intended to support effective extension delivery services to rural farmers in Lofa County, specifically Foya, Voinjama, Quardu-Gboni, Kolahun, Zorzor and Salayea Districts.
Extension services, according to MOA, still remain one of the major challenges facing smallholder farmers across the country. It is an agricultural practice that allows an agent knowledgeable in Agriculture to visit farms to educate and instruct farmers how to go about planting to have better yields.
Madam Mariatou Njie, FAO Country Representative, turned over the motorcycles and accessories to the MoA Regional Agriculture Coordinator (RAC) for Region Three (Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties), Moses R. Gbanyan.
Madam Njie said that it is FAO’s mandate to work toward ensuring that all people have physical and economic access to healthy and nutritional food in order to live active, healthy and longer lives.
She assured FAO’s commitment to supporting the government in the areas of agriculture, fisheries, and forestry as well as food and nutrition security.
The FAO country representative encouraged extension officers to use the motorbikes for their intended purpose, which is to ensure an effective and efficient delivery of essential research findings, knowledge, technology and useful practices to farmers.
“We want you to ensure that farmers have the know-how to increase production and productivity for better incomes and most importantly improve food and nutrition security in their communities,” she said.
Moses R. Gbanyan, Region 3 Agriculture Coordinator, hailed the FAO for its continued support towards the agricultural sector in fighting hunger and poverty.
“We are extremely grateful for these motorbikes, as they will help to enhance our work. FAO has been a longstanding partner to the MoA, and whenever there is an urgent need for support, FAO fills in the gap,” he said.
Henry Darkolon, County Agriculture Coordinator of Region Three, said that the motorbikes would be used to follow-up on project activities and to extend necessary knowledge and advice to farmers to boost farmers’ technical capacity to increase Productivity.
He noted that despite the many challenges, the extension technicians are salvaging meager resources to ensure that farmers’ productive capacity is improved.
According to FAO, the donation to the MoA is intended to urgently fill in existing logistical gaps and enhance mobility of extension officers in coordinating such projects as the “Integrated Sustainable Rice System Development” and “Sustaining peace and improving social cohesion through the promotion of rural employment”.
The two initiatives are results of financial support from the Government of Japan and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
These logistics will also be used to support the implementation of the newly begun project “Promoting Increased Resilience and Sustainable Income Generation, Food Security and Nutrition for Rural Women,” funded by the United Arab Emirates, which targets Foya, Kolahun and parts of Quardu-Gboni Districts in Lofa County.