The World Food Program WFP in collaboration with the government of Liberia and Samaritan Purse has launched the distribution of food for assets creation for about one thousand two hundred smallholder farming households in Bong County.
The distribution exercise which started over the weekend will continue until December as part of an effort to supporting local farmers as they engage in farming activities to improve their living condition by sending their children to school, putting food on their table amongst others.
Our Bong County Correspondent says WFP and Samaritan Purse are not only giving the farmers food but firstly started training them about low-land farming and at the same time providing necessary working tools to support land asset development activities.
It can be recalled that on Monday 27 August, of this year the World Food Programme Liberia in collaboration with the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture and Samaritan Purse International Relief, began a two day workshop in Bong County to enhance project implementation and smallholder food production skills of stakeholders including cooperating/implementing partners, local government counterparts and beneficiaries.
Communities that benefited the first face rice and tools distribution include Sergeant Kollie Town (SKT) Millionaire Quarter Island in Gbarnga and Gbondoi town.
Under the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project, the first activity seeks to support and consolidate gains in the agriculture sector, by promoting and sustaining lowland rice assets through food-based transfer as incentives.
The second component focuses on the promotion of diet diversification through the production of secondary staple crops such as legumes (cassava, cowpeas, maize, and groundnuts) to curtail the effects of malnutrition as well as reduce the maternal health risks of adolescent females suffering from undernutrition.
The World Food Programme is also looking forward to introducing its scope modalities to support beneficiary and commodity management, create advocacy on resilience building with Agriculture students at the Bong County Technical College BCTC, among others.
Speaking at one of the distribution sites, in Gbondoi, WFP Deputy Country Director Asif Bhutto stated that that the WFP will always stand by smallholder producers to grow not only the food their families need but to also sell the surplus and earn an income to meet other dietary and family needs.
Director Asif Bhutto says the beneficiaries of the project will have the capacity to continue good farming and they will have more knowledge about seed plantation.
He extends commendation to the government of Liberia for accepting them to carry on the project and also to the government of Japan for the support it continues to give.
Also speaking, Samaritan’s Purse Country Director for Liberia Kendell Kauffeldt pledged his organization’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of local farmers in Liberia.
According to him, he feels good in helping farmers because it makes them to be able to grow their own food instead of depending on other countries for rice.
“We met the Farmers already making their farms and since we have brought in new knowledge to them, we expect them to continue their farming activities after the six months,” Mr. Kauffeldt told our Bong County Correspondent.
For their part, Beneficiaries of the project extended commendations to the World Food Program; Samaritan’s Purse and the Government of Liberia for the initiative and promised to take advantage of the support.
“We have been looking for people like this to help us and seeing that WFP and its partners have come to help, we will definitely continue working with them” Phillip Mulbah one of the Beneficiaries told Reporter.