The leadership of the National Farmer Cooperative of Tarlesson Farms Incorporated has commended the World Bank-Liberia office for its continued support in lifting the standard of farmers.
The National Farmer Cooperative is the largest smallholder producer and flexible farm worker cooperative in Liberia. The entity’s commendation to the World Bank was contained in a statement they issued yesterday in Monrovia under the signature of John Z. Duo, one of the group’s leaders.
“While we commend the World Bank for raising millions, if not billions of United States dollars from the international community, in the name of poverty-stricken Liberians to address youth employment, conditions in the country remain unresolved. The reason is the bulk of the money is not getting to people they were intended to benefit or improve their conditions,” the farmers said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the organization believes that the living conditions of many farmers have remained the same with “massive corruption leading to continued hardship.”
On behalf of the agricultural producers across the country, the farmers have therefore appealed to the Liberian government, the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and donor agencies for some financial assistance to procure farming equipment and supplies.
If approved, the farmers say, the money should be paid directly to the equipment suppliers against pro-forma invoices and “also in kind, such as farming implements.”
With over 2000 smallholder members, the National Farmer Cooperative of Tarlesson Farms, Inc. assured prompt repayment, should the money be available.
“We are committed to repay the requested amount, be it in loan. With the US$100 million, farmers will purchase implements to revise farming and the country’s economy,” the farmers said.
They cited previous money the World Bank has paid to improve farming activities in the country including the US$16 million for the country’s poor as reported by the Liberian Observer newspaper in Monrovia on September 22, 2016.
The cooperative has membership in the 15 counties with the goal and mission to make Liberia food-sufficient; eliminate dependency on rice and other food imports; transition from hand-held cutlasses (farming with machetes) into mechanized farming to produce on a large scale for local and regional markets; and create employment opportunities.