Following series of discussions between the Government of Israel and the Liberian Government, a team of aquaculture experts from Israel have arrived in the country to carry out an assessment and conduct training for selected Fish farmers and technicians from Bong, Montserrado, Bomi and Nimba counties.
The training, which targets the total number of 60 fish farmers and technicians began on Tuesday February 27, with about 15 fish farmers from Klay Bomi County. It is intended to introduce new techniques and methods in fish farming and aquaculture to the selected fish farmers and technicians.
In an exclusive interview with the MASHAV coordinator for Liberia and Ghana, Dana Chocron said the background of the program came into being as a result of meetings held with the Government of Israel and the Liberian Government in 2017 September, on how these two countries can work together in strengthening the Liberian agricultural sector. MASHAV is the Agency for International Development Cooperation.
The MASHAV coordinator from the embassy of Israel further said that following these successful discussions the government decided that there was a possibility and some potential for the both countries to cooperate.
According to her, discussions have focused on agriculture where there is a challenge for Liberia. She also emphasized that the first delegation from Israel, suits the quest from the Liberian Government, to assess the situation on agriculture in the country. “In order to know how the system works, we need to look at strengthening and building capacity,” Chocron said.
Meanwhile, the focal person for Liberia/Israel cooperation on agriculture in Liberia, Mr. Zizi Kpadeh, said before the TOT training and assessment, the team of experts requested some documents which, he said, has already identified the issue of capacity building and challenges for agriculture and fish farmers in Liberia.
Mr. Kpadeh stated that the training will also be replicated in three locations; the first phase began on Tuesday, February 27 at the Klay Vocational Training Center in Bomi; the second phase according to him started on Thursday and ended on Friday in Montserrado County at the Kebbah garden farm.
The program in Montserrado also trained extension agents from the Ministry of Agriculture, fish farmers and staff from the Bureau of National Fisheries, while the last phase of the training is expected to be held beginning on Monday and ends on Tuesday at the site of the Central Agricultural Research Institute’s (CARI) facility in Bong County.
Kpadeh also pointed out that the training in Bong County will be imparting knowledge to the staff of CARI.
‘‘Bong County has one of the highest and best fish farming groups in Liberia, so we want to train most of their farmers,’’ Kpadeh pointed out. At the same time farmers from Nimba County are expected to be in Bong County for the training.
He said with such initiative coming to Liberia, he sees it as a boost to the agricultural sector, noting that over the years, Liberia has not had an adequate number of people trained in agriculture, which he said has been one of the major challenges in the sector.
He however lauded the Israeli Government for sending experts to Liberia to train agriculturists and fish farmers, which will help to strengthen and build the capacity of local fish farmers in Liberia.