Fabrar Liberia Inc. And USADF Signed US$244,000 Grant Agreement To Provide Support To Small Holder Farmers
Fabrar Liberia Inc. and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) have signed a little over two hundred and forty-four thousand United States dollars grant agreement in Kakata Margibi County.
The Senior Managing Partner of Fabrar Liberia Inc. Mrs. Jeanine Cooper signed on behalf of her Institution while the Country Program Coordinator of the United States African Development Foundation, Peter H. Wilson signed on behalf of his Institution.
Speaking to newsmen following the signing ceremony in Kakata over the weekend, Mr. Wilson said the grant agreement is a cash support that will enable Fabrar to continue helping small farm holders by purchasing their rice and providing them with technical and other supports in order to increase their production.
He disclosed that Fabrar applied to his Organization for the grant support to help expand some of their initiatives adding that it was based on the application that his team carried out an assessment and realized that Fabrar is indeed providing some assistance to farmers who are finding it very difficult to sell their rice and have farm equipment that will help them increase their production.
“So we thought it wise to support them, to help them to increase the cash base to enable them purchase some equipment that will help to boost the production capacity of these smallholder farmers,” he said.
According to him, this will also increase the income of smallholder farmers noting that by doing that it will also help them to have the financial capacity and lift them from out of poverty or difficulty that they are going through to meet their family needs.
The USADF Country Program Coordinator averred that one of the challenges faced by farmers is that the quality of production is low especially those who are in the rice production, as such; they will have to be provided with the kind of equipment that will help them to improve the quality of rice they process.
He indicated that those who produce vegetables also face the challenge of getting their produce to the market as the result of the bad road network adding, ‘they make these farms and they don’t get anything out of that’.
Mr. Wilson asserted that those are the kinds of challenges the farmers are faced with that USADF and others have to work on in making sure the farmers can reap the fruit of their labors.
He then narrated that his expectation is that what the grant says be implemented by Fabrar Liberia Inc. and that farmers who are beneficiaries of the grant agreement will benefit immensely.
He said USADF also expects that the grant will help improve the lives of beneficiaries, enable them to support their family and do whatever they want to do not depending only on government and other people for support.
For her part, Fabrar Liberia Inc. Senior Managing Partner Mrs. Jeanine Cooper said the grant agreement is a support to farmers who are in the Agri-food industry producing food for Liberians. She said it is difficult for farmers in Margibi to get the kind of support that they need as compare to farmers in other parts of Liberia.
Mrs. Cooper indicated that Margibi County has been underserved by various development partners in terms of support to agriculture project, stating that the County is probably viewed as a Rubber belt with the presence of Firestone Liberia Inc. amongst others.
She said the assumption is that citizens of the County only know how to produce rubber is untrue. She explained that at Fabrar, their module depends on farmers and the Institution has not been growing rice but rather purchasing rice from farmers across Liberia.
According to her, the grant is the start of supporting rice production in the region. She furthered that her Institution will be looking at how it can make rice production commercial than just making it subsistence or a development project. She intoned that the project is starting with Margibi, northern Montserrado and lower Bong County.
She noted that her Institution is going to introduce a basic mechanization using power tailor, simple irrigation systems, tractor services, training in organic pesticide management and different ways that can be used to improve the food that Liberians eat.
Mrs. Cooper, however, said most of the money signed for in the grant agreement will be used to purchase equipment and commercial mill (annex to Fabrar Liberia Inc.) will be placed along the Bong Mine road where there are many rice farmers for the first time.
She meanwhile, termed the agreement as a dream that is about to come through for her Institution.