Donates US$500K farm equipment
The Japanese government has donated to Liberian farmers some energy saving farming equipment that will enable them to produce more rice to feed the country’s growing population.
The equipment, which comes with a US$500,000 price tag, include 31 pieces of BCS rotary tillers and 424 pieces of garden weasels.
The donation is part of the Japanese Rice Grant Project implemented by the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) in five of the 15 counties that suffered the worst of the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and 2015. The counties are Lofa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Bomi and Montserrado.
CHAP executive director Robert Bimba donated the farm equipment simultaneously to heads of farming cooperatives from those counties at the formal program held in Monrovia over the weekend.
CHAP is a locally-based non governmental organization working with local farmers to build their capacity.
Director Bimba described agriculture as key to Liberia’s food security recovery, urging the farmers to help grow more rice to fed the population. He underscored the importance of the project to the farmers from the Ebola affected counties.
He said the organization formally launched the Japanese Rice Project in Bomi, Cape Mount, Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties with the objectives to build the capacity of farmers, link them with markets, and making available to them seed rice, fertilizers and rain boots.
“The project is working with over 1,800 farmers, so we want to thank the Japanese government and the Ministry of Agriculture for the grant,” he said.
A representative of the farmers thanked CHAP, the Japanese government and the authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture for the donations, which they promised to use for their intended purpose.
The Japanese government is also constructing the Somalia Drive thoroughfare, while in the health sector, it has contributed US$2.256 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund to protect Liberian children from infectious diseases.
UNICEF said it will use the Japanese grant to strengthen the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) services which focus on seven of Liberia’s 15 counties with more than 450,000 children and will fund training and supplies to strengthen the capacity of healthcare workers at the community level to treat and prevent childhood diseases.