By Richard Williams/Tubmanburg, Bomi County
Women farmers in Dewion District, Bomi County, who have embarked on the cultivation of 25 acres of lowland to feed their families, are appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and partners for help to develop their lowland rice farm project.
The farmers have said that when the land is properly laid out, it will enable them to grow more crops, mainly rice, within the farming season.
Ciatta C. Johnson, the chairlady of the group said they want to erase the notion that people of Bomi county are lazy people by investing in large-scale rice production.
She said currently, they are unable to even lay out their swamplands due to lack of materials. According to her, the majority of them use their bare hands to work.
She said the group was founded in January 2021, with the aim of drawing the attention of the national government to support local farmers to create an enabling livelihood environment for rural residents due to the hard economic situation in the country.
Madam Johnson noted that they are 161 farmers, majority of them women and they want the Ministry to assist them with cutlasses, rain boots and other much-needed farming materials.
At the same time the co- chair of the group, Musu Sando, has noted that they find it very difficult sometimes to even send their children to school, due to low income acquired from their farming projects.
“The main purpose of us venturing into farming is to eradicate hunger. But we cannot do much if we are not supported by the government,” she said.
Also speaking, a board member of the farming group, James Dukuly, said they envision the construction of a warehouse to store food before taking it to the market.
Dukuly said if the land is properly laid out, they will be able to grow vegetables after the harvest of the rice. “We also want to grow vegetables on the land, provided we can get support from the government and partners,
According to experts, lowland rice cultivation is important to increasing rice production, when the land is well developed. However, not many Liberian farmers are accustomed to this agriculture practice, as many are still cultivating the upland for subsistence purposes. The Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to prioritize lowland rice cultivation to produce enough rice for the country.
Edited by Judoemue M. Kollie