The president of the National Agro-dealers Association of Liberia (NADAL) has cautioned agro-dealers in the country on the proper use of inputs. Madam Rebecca Kalayi spoke yesterday to the Daily Observer during a one day visit to agro-dealers at the Red Light General Market and the Bernard Farm Community in Paynesville. According to Kalayi, many smallholder farmers will be attracted to the use of agro-inputs provided that inputs are properly delivered to them.
More than 25 agro-dealers in the Red Light district and Bernard Farm Community were visited by Madam Kalayi, who said there are plans to extend her visit to other agro-dealers in other parts of the country. “I am here to acquaint myself with the work of the agro-input dealers to ensure that they are truly applying knowledge acquired from previous training. We must adequately be able to handle agro-chemicals, if we are to promote and increase food production. There are many challenges still facing the agro-chemicals industry that we intend to address,” she said.
She mentioned that some agro-dealers are being harassed by the police when taking their goods to the market. “It is being reported by some members of our organization that they are constantly being arrested by the police, without tangible reasons. We want the police to allow our members free movement whenever they are trading their goods within the country,” she mentioned.
Madam Kalayi revealed that since the establishment of NADAL, her administration has been working very hard to improve the agro-chemicals industry in Liberia, but stressed the need for more capacity building to enable locals to compete with foreigners. “We have succeeded in opening an office for the organization and obtaining a contract from the Government to deliver agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers across the country. We want the Ministry of Agriculture to further build our capacity to reach smallholder farmers with needed services,” she said.
The NADAL president disclosed that there is a plan to purchase land to establish a demonstration farm for the use of training agro-dealers on the safe application of inputs. “We are thankful to the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity and the Ministry of Agriculture for establishing NADAL, but we still look forward to their support,” she concluded.