Grand Bassa County District #4 Representative Vicent Willie has promised to engage in small-scale mechanized farming, to increase the productivity of agriculture in the country.
A son of a farmer, Rep. Willie, who is currently involved in subsistence farming in Wee Statutory District, disclosed plans to expand and improve the production of rice and other crops on his 80 acres of farmland.
“We were just testing this soil and it has proven that it is suitable for the production of rice. We tried other crops like plantain, banana, and pumpkin; they all came up very good,” he said.
Rep. Willie said he had met with partners in India and China, who have expressed interest in investing in agriculture in his district.
He said Liberians cannot continue to use cutlasses and hoes to make farms and, therefore, they need to move into mechanized farming to enable them to grow their own food.
Rep. Willie said increasing production through the use of agricultural machinery will boost the agricultural sector and provide more employment rather than waiting for government jobs.
The Grand Bassa lawmaker said as part of efforts to ease some of the major challenges in his district, which is the second largest in terms of rice production in the county, mechanized farming will reduce hunger and unemployment.
He said agriculture has become the primary source of livelihood for more than 60 percent of the people and provides sustenance for many households engaged in it. But low agricultural productivity has resulted in the importation of more than 80 percent of the country’s staple food, making it vulnerable to global food price instability.