The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the New Generation of Africa Agriculture Organization (NEGAAO), Moses P. Kollie, has begun his organization’s first livestock management training intended to build the capacity of stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
He noted that the practical aspect of the training enables the students to see and get to know firsthand what they are being taught in the classrooms.
The lack of productivity over the years, however, is the leading cause of the country’s dependency on foreign food importation.
Mr. Kollie recently made the disclosure in Nekalay Town – Lower Johnsonville – at the first livestock management training program intended to help build the capacity of people in the agricultural sector.
“There is a need for government to ensure that those graduating from the various agriculture colleges and universities be given the opportunity to try the practical training, because all those graduating from the Agriculture and Forestry College do not engage into practical work during their respective studies,” he said.
The practical training, he said, is what can resuscitate the agriculture sector and expressed hope that the government and agriculture organizations can assist in providing the opportunity for the youth to gravitate towards agriculture.
“We don’t need to have people graduating from the various colleges, particularly in the agriculture sector, and sitting in offices and looking for people to work for you. NEGAAO believes that the introduction of practical training in the sector will help to increase food sufficiency in the country.
We need to come together and ensure that the youth are fully involved in agriculture,” Mr. Kollie said.
He said there are good policies and strategies on the book at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), but that policies are yet to be put into full action that would yield better results for the forward march to Liberia’s food sufficiency.
Mr. Kollie noted that before the country’s 14-year civil crisis, there was more food on the market, which was accomplished by fewer numbers of graduates of agriculture and forestry schools; unlike now with their much higher numbers amid low agricultural output.
He said the organization was founded after a survey conducted in 2009 on why postwar Liberia has more people graduating from the Agriculture College but the market is dominated by an invasion of foreign foodstuffs.
“Understand that the problem is the government, because of the lack of practicals that can resuscitate (the agriculture (sector).
“Why after the war we have more youth graduating from agriculture and forestry but yet Liberia is in food deficit? This survey proved that government was responsible for that, because of the lack of introducing practical (training),” Mr. Kollie noted.