The Project Coordinator of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Princetta Clinton Varmah, has confirmed the Japanese Government willingness to boost rice production in the country.
Madam Varmah said the Japanese Government is willing to help Liberia increase its rice production in order to improve food security in the country. Speaking at the start of a three-day Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) and Japanese Rice Grant Project National Project Exchange and Review Workshop in Monrovia, Madam Varmah urged local farmers to grow more rice to help feed Liberia’s population. She noted that every country depends on agriculture and as such, it is important to take advantage of the opportunity provided by international partners in the agriculture sector. Also speaking, CHAP’s Executive Director, Robert Bimba, said the vision of the project is to reduce hunger, and empower local farmers particularly women to overcome the impact of the Ebola crisis, increase food security and maintain peace in the Country. He added that the Japanese Rice Grant Project is a major factor to improving Liberia’s agricultural sector aimed at empowering local farmers in the various Ebola-affected counties. The three-day training is bringing together local farmers from the five Ebola affected counties which include, Lofa, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties. The total numbers of 26 trainees are attending the workshop. For her part, Marvee Kannah, a local farmer from Lofa County who spoke through an interpreter thanked the Japanese government, IFAD, MOA and the Community of Hope Agriculture Project for helping to improve rice farming in Liberia. At the same time, Arthur S.T Watson, a local farmer from Grand Bassa County told this paper of his impression about the training. He named some of the achievements as knowing the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a method which intends to strengthen local farmers in the production of more rice. Watson who hails from Davidcee Town noted that the training has brought him what he called encouragement in the agriculture sector. He pledged his commitment to get most of his kinsmen to form part of rice production in that county. At the end of the training, local farmers are expected to go to their various counties to spur rice production.