As part of efforts to improve the sustainable farming system in Liberia, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has received a consignment of agricultural equipment worth about US$27,000 from the World Food Program (WFP).
The donation aims to improve the production of smallholder farmers for a sustainable farming system in Liberia. The handover ceremony took place October 12, 2021 at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.
Some of the items donated include 5 motorbikes, 2 tractors 2 power tillers, 2 rotary tillers, 1 destoner and 1 rice dryer.
During the hand-over ceremony, WFP Country Representative, Hershey Karla, informed the Ministry that the donation was part of WFP’s commitment to continue working with the leadership of the Ministry to promote the Government’s aspirations for the agriculture sector as embedded in the Government’s development plan, known as the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
“Today, we are here again to make an additional donation of equipment in support of the Government’s plans for the growth of the agriculture sector,” Madam Karla said.
Madam Karla recalled that WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture collaborated on many initiatives including the setting up of three agro-equipment pools in Bong, Montserrado and Bomi Counties.
She indicated that at each of the equipment pools, WFP donated power tillers, destoners, milling machines, rice dryers and generators, among other items. The donation also included one hard-top SUV, one double cabin pickup truck, 10 motorized water pumps, 17 rice threshers, six desktop computers, etc. The intent for setting up the agri-equipment pools, according to her, was to begin the effort of reducing the labour and time it requires for smallholder farmers to increase their production and productivity using manual tools.
She also re emphasized that the donation was in line with WFP’s Country Strategic Plan that requires our Program to help strengthen the capacities of national and sub-national institutions of government.
She also said that WFP remains fully prepared to continue serving as a reliable partner of choice to the government of Liberia through the Ministry in strengthening food systems and empowering people and communities towards their food security and nutrition needs through WFP’s livelihood assets and Agriculture Market Support Programs.
These activities, she said, support vulnerable communities to develop key community farm assets, thus promoting resilient agricultural practices for staple food production along the value chain.
She added that in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target of ending hunger by 2030, evidence-based policies and programs will remain critical. Hence, “the reason we are making this donation today.”
She challenged authorities at the ministry that the equipment will be deployed in the regions of the country where they will make a meaningful impact to help the government strengthen the capacities of smallholders towards a hunger-free Liberia.
Receiving the items on behalf of the government of Liberia, Deputy Minister for Planning and Development at the Ministry, Roberts Fagans, recalled the numerous contributions of WFP to MOE and then praised them for the donations.
Minister Fagans told his WFP counterpart that the donation of equipment by the WFP last year to the Ministry was also given to farmers especially, women in agriculture activities, something he said they are currently making maximum use of for more production.
“Before these donations, farmers in some parts of the country were barely seen using their hands which we believe is not healthy also. But since you gave us the power tiller in Nimba County, there has been a significant improvement and changes as well and we think this is incredible,” said Minister Fagans, with excitement on his face.