MOA Conducts Climate Change Workshop for CAC, Extension Workers

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The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has conducted a two day training workshop on the Climate Change Adaptation Agriculture Project (CCAAP) for 15 County Agricultural Coordinators (CAC’s) and extension workers in the country.

The two days workshop took place from January 30 to the February 1. It was held at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Gbarnga, Bong County.

Giving an overview of the workshop, the national program coordinator of the CCAAP at the Program Management Unit (PMU) of the MoA, Atty. Roland J. Lepol said the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) is one of three pilot projects designed by the Government of Liberia and its implementing partners. He said the workshop was aimed at prioritizing and identifying key areas in the agriculture sector of the country.

Mr. Lepol disclosed that Climate Change has been a threat to development efforts, especially in food security where farmers are facing serious problems with flooding of their crops.

According to him, farmers never used to experience climate change, but today it is causing serious problems for them.

“This workshop aims to train CAC workers to provide awareness for farmers in the country.” Atty. Lepol stated.

Also speaking at the program was Mr. Harrison Luo, Assistant Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs, who said that climate change leaves farmers and their crops vulnerable.

According to him climate change is harming agriculture in many countries, especially those that are already suffering from poor soil types and harsh climate conditions because there is less time for optimum natural selection and adaption.

For his part, Mr. Edward Perry, director of extension at the Ministry of Agriculture stressed the overall effect of climate change on agriculture would depend on the balance of these effects.

He said assessment of the effects of global climate change on agriculture might help to properly anticipate and adapt farming to maximize agricultural production.

He indicated, "Climate change increases the urgency of reforming trade policies to ensure that global food security needs are met."

The MoA extension director added that in order to further study effects of global warming on agriculture, other types of models, such as crop development models, yield prediction, quantities of water or fertilizer consumed, must be used.

According to him, such models condense the knowledge accumulated of the climate, soil, and effects observed of the results of various agricultural practices.

Meanwhile, several CAC’s who participated in the workshop shared their experiences on the effects of climate change. Some said that during, the months of July and August they experienced low production in their crops due to heavy rains.

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