The County Agriculture Coordinator (CAC) of Rivercess, Madam Nora Kemokai has lauded the World Food Program (WFP) in Liberia for supporting rural women farmers in her county towards attaining food security and strengthening community resilience.
Speaking in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County yesterday at the start of a two-day workshop to train rural women in the operations of Community Food Reserves (CFR) or food banks, Madam Kemokai said: “WFP is doing so well for rural women that we intend writing a letter to the Head of Mission of the organization to appreciate them for working so hard to empower rural women in Liberia. We thank WFP for providing to the women the knowledge, food assistance, and community food reserves or storage facilities they need to work for themselves”, she mentioned.
WFP in collaboration with FAO, UNWOMEN and the Government of Liberia have organized four regional workshops to be held in Grand Bassa, Bong, Bomi, and Grand Gedeh counties respectively. The training sessions are in part fulfillment of the objectives of two UN joint projects, the Rural Women Economic Empowerment Project (RWEE) and UN Human Security Trust Fund.
Outlining the importance of the training for rural women development, WFP’s National Program Policy Officer, Lonnie Herring, said community food reserves will benefit rural women and improve access to food, sharpen women’s leadership and management skills, address the issue of post-harvest losses, among other things.
The program which is also known as Community Grain Reserves (CGRs), provides a safety net to offset the effects of seasonal shocks, by strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities to reduce their own hunger through the enhanced management of their food stocks. WFP has established 23 Women managed Community Grain Reserves/banks (CGRs) in the 15 Counties, supporting 18,000 households through the provision of storage facilities (warehouses) and its associated elements including a drying floor, hand pump and toilets.
Importantly, WFP has already stocked each facility with 30kg clean milled rice. Women community dwellers needing food can “credit rice” from the food banks at 10% interest and pay back after they harvest their farms. The training sessions are being facilitated by a local food security organization – Volunteers to Support International Efforts in Developing Africa (VOSIEDA).