“Self-Sufficiency in Food Production A Key Priority to PAPD”

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(L to R) Mr. Emmanuel G. Vah and Regina Sokan-Teah exchanged a copy of the MoU signed between MOA/IFAD and the CDA, respectively.

…Acting Agriculture Minister Precious Tetteh

Acting Agriculture Minister Mrs. Precious K. Tetteh says the government of President George Weah is committed to working with local and international partners in order to boost production in the agriculture sector, a release has said.

According to the release, Mrs. Tetteh spoke at a ceremony for the dedication of six new vehicles procured under the Tree Crops Extension Project (TCEP) in Monrovia.

She noted that self-sufficiency in food production is a key priority under the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

“The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has put in place a robust monitoring system to ensure that donor supports are properly tracked and resources are utilized for the intended purpose,” said Tetteh. “Over the years, many international organizations have provided support to the Agriculture sector, but there are no tangible results, because the system of monitoring has been weak.”

Mrs. Tetteh thanked the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other international donor agencies for support to the PAPD, noting: “The government will continue to enhance this partnership for the overall good of smallholder farmers around the country.”

In a related development, the MoA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cooperative Development Agency (CDA) where the Registrar General of Farmers’ Cooperatives Madam Regina Sokan-Teah signed for the CDA, while the Project Coordinator for the IFAD implementation Unit at the MoA Emmanuel G. Vah signed on behalf of the project.

Under the MoU, according to the release, the CDA will assess the capacity of farmers’ groups in the county and provide the requisite training in financial management, good governance as well as discipline in the context of International Cooperative principles and best practices with the aim of making farmers’ cooperatives viable and in order for them to increase their profit margin.

The signing ceremony was held at the MoA Project Management Unit outside Monrovia. Madam Regina Sokan-Teah said the CDA remains committed to building strong farmers’ cooperative societies around the country, so that they would be able to compete positively with their counterparts in the region and other parts of the world.

The Project Coordinator of IFAD Project Implementation Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture Emmanuel G. Vah said the vehicles are intended to enhance the productivity of various units of the Tree Crops Extension Project (TCEP). He said one vehicle will be assigned to the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) to support their work in managing the National Seed Garden and the Agronomist compound in Beeplay, Nimba County.

Other beneficiaries of the vehicles are the Cooperative Development Agency, the County Agriculture Coordination office and the project Implementation Unit in Saclepea, Nimba County.

In the MoU, the CDA will conduct audits of farmers’ cooperatives, to ensure that they are in conformity with prudent financial discipline, accountability, transparency, managerial and economic growth through private sector development as well as helping to update the constitution and by-laws of all cooperatives in the country.

It can be recalled that the MoA recently dedicated 23 motorbikes, which have been assigned to Young Professionals and Permanent Workers, who are serving as agriculture extension officers, to support 10,000 smallholders cocoa farmers in the rehabilitation and revitalization of cocoa farms in the eight districts in Nimba County.

The project will also support the rehabilitation of roads and provide temporary employment for about 600 residents along the cocoa value chain in the county.

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