Considering that some farmers in the suburbs of Monrovia are in need of the necessary farming skills to increase production, a local farmer has initiated a swamp project in his community aimed at educating interested community dwellers, mainly vulnerable youth and women, in improved agriculture skills in rice and vegetable production.
The project is being initiated by Mr. Flomo Pewu, a resident of the Mount Barclay Community. Pewu has embarked on the construction of a hectare of swampland that will serve as a demonstration farm.
Speaking to this newspaper recently on his farm, Pewu said several farmers in his community stand to benefit from his initiative.
The farmland is situated in the Peter Town Community, on the Nimba United Football Club Road in Mount Barclay, Montserrado County. It is a rain-fed (one rice cropping season) swamp that is being laid out into plots with drainages.
“This initiative started in 2015, when we conducted a survey to discover the number of farmers in the community that possessed improved farming skills, mainly in swamp rice development and vegetable production. The result of the survey showed that many farmers lacked the appropriate skills. Our country still imports huge quantities of vegetables and this is because most of our farmers are not specialized producers. So we are hopeful that with the introduction of this project, we can help to minimize the importation of vegetables,” Flomo said.
According to Flomo, at least 15 persons in the community are to initially benefit from the project. They are expected to assist other farmers after acquiring the skills.
“Those that have expressed interest in the project are now trained in swamp development and will also acquire training in vegetable production. We are to manage the proceeds from the project to empower the members to send their children to school,” he stated.
Flomo disclosed that he invested close to US$3,000 of his meagre resources to develop the project.
“As soon as we complete the layout of the swamp, we will commence the nursing of improved rice seed varieties. Our plan is to also use the swamp as a seed multiplication site to distribute improved seeds to farmers. Therefore international organizations can depend on our project to buy improved seeds for distribution,” Flomo added.
Meanwhile, Flomo is appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture and its partners to assist him with more farming tools to increase the project’s productivity