The new agriculture program at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) to produce food for use in the campus kitchen and for sharing with the needy local community in Kakata is a commendable and promising initiative.
BWI Board Chairman Jackson Paye, who is also Deputy Public Works Minister for Rural Development and himself a BWI alumnus, said the idea of the program was borrowed from a University of the District of Columbia (UDC) program in the American capital, Washington, D.C., that produces all kinds of foods for the university and for the local community, including schools, hospitals, old age homes and prisons.
The program is similar to one in the Republic of Benin, which trains young agricultural entrepreneurs and has become a center of excellence. The program, known as Songhai, was inspired by a young Dominican priest, Father Godfrey Nzamujo, who holds a doctorate degree in Electronics, Microbiology and Development Science.
We rejoice in the revelation that here is one African PhD who has made a great difference in people’s lives!
The Songhai program has been so successful that it has spread throughout Benin and onward to 15 other African nations!
The Publisher of the Daily Observer newspaper has for many years considered the theme “God and One Man.” He got the idea from what God had done on many occasions in human history by methodically choosing one person at a time to achieve great things for God Himself and His people. Among these were Moses, Abraham, Isaac, his son Jacob, his son Joseph the Dreamer, some of the prophets of Israel, King David and Jesus.
Here in Africa we have one man, Fr. Nzamujo, who has made a great difference in agriculture. With humble beginnings in Benin, the program has now spread to 15 African countries.
Now that it has reached Liberia, and to a strategic place like the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), we now have the great promise that the program can be replicated throughout the country, reaching every county.
Just think of what a great difference it will make to food production in Liberia!
In the driving seat of this important initiative is BWI Principal Harris Tarnue, backed by BWI Board Chairman Jackson Paye, himself a rural Liberian from Nimba County.
We are depending on these two men, Tarnue and Paye, to follow this important project unremittingly (continuously), to ensure its successful implementation on the 14 acres on the campus’ west side, near the Du River, where direct irrigation is possible. The challenge is to spread the program first to other parts of greater Kakata (Bolorla, the Bong Mines and Firestone Roads) and on to Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh and all the other southeastern counties.
It can happen, people. All it takes is focus, determination and goodwill on the part of who will be involved—the BWI administration, its Board of Directors and the Ministry of Agriculture, whose Minister, Dr. Moses Zinnah, was present at the launching last Saturday.
The program should already have some seed money that comes not only from BWI’s meager resources, but from the pledge by Senator Oscar Cooper, made during a program on campus in 2015. At that time, he pledged to give BWI US$100,000 for a farm to feed the students.
We pray that Senator Cooper, who is also now running for President, will seize the opportunity of the launch of this promising new agricultural program and come forward to make good on his pledge.
Such an infusion of capital will lead this Songhai-styled program at BWI to fulfill its pristine promise of replication throughout Liberia.
May God grant!