Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor recently launched the five-year Agric Power Africa-Liberia project in Gbarnga, Bong County, in an effort to help transform the country’s agriculture sector.
The project, according to VP Taylor, will support smallholder farmers to increase yields, improving agribusinesses to attract both domestic and export market in rice, cassava, vegetables, aquaculture (fish ponds) and livestock value chains.
The event brought together government officials, representatives from farmers’ cooperatives, the private sector as well as smallholder farmers.
VP Taylor described the project as a “good opportunity” that smallholder farmers can take advantage of to improve their lives.
She said it is about time that everyone gets involved in farming activity, something which she said will help the country to avoid the huge importation of food.
VP Taylor however pledged the government’s support to the project, encouraging citizens to work together for the success of the project.
The president/CEO of Agric Power-Africa, Dr. Aroms Emmanuel Aigbehi, said Liberia’s agricultural sector needs collective effort in order to be transformed.
Dr. Aigbehi told the gathering that his organization will create wealth through agriculture by mobilizing smallholder farmers to go beyond subsistence farming.
“The project will establish large anchor farms in each of the targeted counties, to assist smallholder farmers expand production into large mechanized and efficient operations,” he informed his audience.
Aigbehi said that his organization will facilitate loans to farmers, to enhance productivity as well as provide access to farm implements.
Agric Power-Africa is a non-governmental organization designed to galvanize African men and women to use agriculture to create jobs, wealth, alleviate poverty, and enhance food security within countries in Africa.
“This program is the only model that will bring Africans together [both home and the diaspora], to transform the agriculture landscape of Africa by using innovation methods that would increase farmers’ yields and create market access,” Aigbehi said.
Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson lauded Agric Power-Africa for the project, expressing the hope that it will help smallholder farmers to boost agriculture production.