…For commissioning rice mills
Two farmers’ cooperatives in Nimba County, Dokodan Farmers Cooperative and the Gbehlay-Geh Rural Women Multipurpose Farmers’ Cooperative, have hailed the CNFA/LADA for commissioning two brand-new rice mills, which they said will enhance their productivity.
CNFA, or Cultivating New Frontier in Agriculture/Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA), an initiative by USAID’s Feed-the-Future program, started in December 2015, and aims to increase income of smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs throughout Liberia.
The cooperatives, through their spokespersons, praised the organizations for responding to their early request to improve the country’s food production.
Annie Kruah, head of the Gbehlay Geh Rural Women Farmers Cooperative, said the new mills will certainly empower the farmers to produce more rice.
She said the group has been producing clean rice, which the WFP has purchased for school feeding, using a small size rice mill, but the giant size mill will increase their productivity.
“We are happy for the people of America, whose tax money was used to purchase this giant size rice mill,” Ms. Kruah said.
Jefferson Tokpah, chairperson of Dokodan Farmers’ Cooperative, located in Gbedin, one of the most famous and oldest rice production sites in Liberia, also expressed similar sentiment for the rice mill that farmers think will increase the production of clean paddy rice.
Tokpah assured the donors that Dokodan will surely utilize the rice mill wisely, so as to enable them purchase another one in the future.
CNFA/LADA Chief of Party (COP) Win van Campen said the rice milling equipment was commissioned in fulfillment of the organization’s commitment to increase local rice production and commercialize the product in line with Feed the Future’s goals.
Campen said each of the rice processing or milling machines will process about 13,000 tons a day, something he called on members of the cooperatives to work harder to keep the machines functional.
“We hope this will serve to encourage members of the cooperatives to work harder and smarter to improve rice cultivation and processing, thereby increase food security in the country,” he said.
LADA, implemented by CNFA, is a 5-year activity.
Accordingly, LADA is designed to provide broad support to agricultural development and food security within USAID/Liberia’s defined Zone of Influence (ZOI), specifically in Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Montserrado counties.
The commissioning ceremony was attended by Agriculture Minister Dr. Magona Flomo, Jr., Nimba County District #3 Representative Joseph Sonwabi, Ms. Rasheena Reed Harris, Acting Economic Growth at USAID – Liberia, chiefs, elders and representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
CNFA/LADA recently awarded tractors and generators to three cooperatives in Nimba, including Dokodan, Gbehlay Geh Rural Women and the KPODO Farmers’ Cooperative in Zayglay, near Bahn. With the coming of the rice processing machines, residents say they are grateful to the US Government.