The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), has donated a motorized cassava processing machine to the Gbarnga Central Prison, in Bong County.
The donation by FAO and the GoL will aid in the processing of cassava and other agriculture products to provide food and nutrition for inmates and staff at the central prison.
FAO staff, led by the Assistant Representative for Program, Mr. Octavius Quarbo on behalf of the FAO Representative Mariatou Njie, were accompanied by representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. George Boayue, District Agriculture Officer, and Mr. James S. Ponpon, Rehabilitation Coordinator from the Ministry of Justice.
Expressing thanks to the Ministries of Agriculture and and of Justice for their continued support, and, in continuation of the technical assistance to the MoJ, Mr. Quarbo ensured the partners of continued collaboration and accessibility of staff located within the county.
“FAO confirmed that working with the MoA, training support could be provided to the inmates and rehab officers on production and value addition for cassava, rice and even vegetables,” he said.
Also speaking, Oluwatobi Samuel Bankole, Agriculture Engineer with FAO, said that the machine has the capacity to produce 100kg (0.5 metric ton) of cassava daily, and serve as a source for other nutrition.
“This initiative highlights the continued partnership between the FAO and the GoL through its various ministries,” Bankolo said.
For his part. Mr. Ponpon of the Ministry of Justice applauded FAO for the donation and stressed its importance in helping with the rehabilitation process of inmates.
“We provided much needed skills that can translate as a source of income after reintegration. This joint donation highlights the continued collaboration between FAO and its partners in ensuring food security in Liberia,” he said.
The Superintendent of the Gbarnga Central Prison, Mr. Richard Z. T. Mulbah, who welcomed the donation, said it was a much needed requirement to enhance their farming activities and called on the partners to continue to provide needed support for the rehabilitation and training of inmates.