One of the key constraints to Liberia’s food industry is the provision of limited mechanization and agro-processing tools. This poses a serious challenge to local farmers as raw produce is usually bought to local markets at low prices. It is established that once farmers have access to processing equipment they get better prices for their produce and tend to increase productivity.
Most of the agro-processing tools used in Liberia are imported from Ghana and other countries. The production of processing equipment in Liberia will help improve the food industry as farmers could get these farming tools at affordable prices.
Until this capacity is enhanced, it is unlikely that Liberian farmers will benefit from increased market opportunities.
As part of effort to address the above production challenge, a local enterprise “T R Enterprise” located at West Benson Street, Monrovia, has engaged in the production of agro-equipment in order to enhance the contribution of agro-processing for sustainable improvement in food security, income and livelihoods of farmers, processors and marketers.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer farmer’s desk recently. the agro specialist of T R Enterprise George Kaicora, disclosed that his institution is specialized in the production and sale of different types of agro-equipment to contribute to the improvement of the country’s food security.
“Many of the agro-implement that farmers in Liberia use have been imported from Ghana and other countries. But now, we are producing these farming equipment locally for farmers at cheap prices.
He added that they are also engaged in the training of farmers in the usage of the various tools to improve production.
“The whole idea of producing these equipment here is to improve the nation’s food security. Cassava, for an example, is the nation’s second staple food and farmers can make more money from the production of the crop provided it is processed
into its various finishing products.
Mr. Kaicora said farming tools produced are durable and were reaching farming organizations through NGOs working in the agriculture sector.
He, however, mentioned that the lack of government support toward the improvement of Liberian businesses was a major hindrance for their operation.
“Liberian business will not boom when the government does not give its full support,” he said.
The TK Enterprise was established in 2011 to help in the promotion of Liberia’s food security through the production, sale and training of local farmers in utilizing agro-tools. At first, the business started with the importation of agro-implement from Ghana for sale, until recently, when local materials were fermented and produce in Liberia.
The company provides processing equipment like, Stainless Steel Grater and Gari Mesh Sifter, S/S fermentation rack and double screw press as well as stainless steel parching trays.
Other equipment includes motorized oil palm expeller.