The Kpatawee Farmer Based Organization (KFBO), a local farming group in Kpatawee, Suakoko District in Bong County, on Friday April 6, began harvesting 6.5 hectares of lowland rice to the delight of the locals and other assigned agriculture extension agents.
The chairman of KFBO, Jutomue Dakeh Mulbah, spoke of the involvement of 32 local farmers in the implementation of the project.
Mulbah informed the gathering, among them farmers that were excited about the effort, on the primary objective of empowering young people in the area through rice production.
Mr. Mulbah told the Daily Observer that KFBO provides the labor, while the China-Liberia Agriculture Technology Demonstration Center, situated in Suakoko District, helps with the technical and financial support.
He informed this newspaper that the paddy rice from the harvest will be given to farmers for seed multiplication, with the aim being to increase their respective rice production, while offering to ensure economic security for the farmers.
Mulbah lauded China for the support and assured community dwellers of his preparedness to maintain the project.
Kobe Zhang, Director of China-Liberia Agriculture Technology Demonstration Center, said the Center’s support to the farmers’ project is in fulfillment of the bilateral partnership between China and Liberia, which aims to strengthen agriculture production.
Mr. Zhang promised to make available market linkage for the farmers to sell their produce to other farming groups and institutions in the country.
Zhang maintained that the Center will continue to provide agriculture inputs and technical support to potential farmers in the area.
The Kpatawee project is part of the sustainability aspect of the agriculture demonstration center, he said.
A representative from the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia, Zhang Xudong, said predicated upon some major gains Liberia has made in education, health, agriculture, and security, it clearly indicates that the Liberia-China relations will continue to increase from strength to strength and unabated.
Xudong informed the local farmers about the Chinese government’s preparedness to provide farming implements, as well as technical and financial support, to add to the many other opportunities that await Liberia. However, he expressed the hope that both countries can see “early harvest” in meeting the commitments the Chinese have made to Liberia’s agriculture sector.
“Therefore, it is extremely prudent for this marriage between Liberia and China, which I would term a ‘win-win reality partnership,’ to remain in full swing in this century and centuries to come,” Mr. Xudong added.
Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker said: “At this point, one can say that the bilateral relations subsisting between Liberia and China is on a very good footing. There are numerous reasons while upholding the one China Policy is worthy. Just by being a partner with a country that has the world’s second largest economy and that is a manufacturing hub, resonates a lot.”
Moreover, Supt. Walker said China is not a selfish partner that holds back or sits and watches when there is a need to act.
“From all indications, China has never been restrictive in its quest to assist Liberia in its development drives. Across various spectrum, the country’s development footprints encompass agriculture as evidenced by the harvest of a 6.5 hectares of lowland rice in Kpatawee,” Walker declared.
She then hailed the cordial bilateral relations existing between Liberia and China, adding, “beyond all reasonable doubts, the relationship is satisfying its true meaning.”
Apart from the rice production, the Chinese are also involved with poultry and vegetable production, from where pigs will be given to local farmers for multiplication of as many as possible so as to make farmers economically viable.
The program was attended by local leaders, as well as representatives from women groups and other locally-based organizations.