Minister Wiles disclosed that the Ministry has embarked on the process of revamping and strengthening extension services across the country for sustainable development of the sector.
Minister Wiles observed that when agriculture extension workers are fully capacitated and efficient in the performance of their duty, farmers will in return get the benefits to improve their farms, leading to increase in production.
She also noted that effective extension services eventually lead to farmers adopting new techniques and simple farming practices that reduce the cost of production.
Minister Wiles made the statement recently when she addressed journalists at the close of a two-day national extension consultative workshop aimed at revamping and strengthening extension services for sustainable development of the agriculture sector held at the Central Agriculture Research Institute in Suakoko, Bong County.
Minister Wiles said over 150 agriculture extension workers were invited to form part of the consultation in formulating a more robust extension strategy in addressing farmers’ plight in the country.
“Agriculture development begins and ends with the contact; from the research it comes to extension and extension takes it to the people that need it most, the farmers. A strong extension service means farmers’ message will be brought to us and we can in return help them to grow more food.”
“We are now training our extension officers to effectively work with farmers across the country, monitor their farms and provide regular updates from the counties to the ministry through the usage of our GPS system on the various smartphones that are being assigned to them.” Wiles said.
“At this consultative workshop our County Agriculture Coordinators, District Agriculture Officers, Livestock Officers and Plant and Quarantine officers who have been trained over the years are also reporting to us on progress in their respective counties and making recommendations to further improve our services,” Minister Wiles emphasized.
The Agriculture Minister said even though the Ministry of Agriculture
currently has under review the animal disease law, efforts are ongoing
to assign livestock officers to each district in the country.
“We already have in place the strategies on rice and cassava which are all part of the country’s agriculture transformation agenda and we are now increasing the capacity of our staff as part of efforts to meet our farmers’ demands.
“Support to agriculture is crucial to Liberia's upliftment and the just-ended gathering has given us a greater understanding of where the agriculture sector will be in the coming years,” Minster Wiles noted.
She assured Liberian farmers that government will continue to support the development of the agriculture sector and praised partners in the sector for their support to farmers.