The government of Liberia in collaboration with the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and with financial support from the government of Japan has launched the “Integrated Sustainable Rice System Development in Suakoko, Bong County.
According to reports, the project is geared towards enhancing the productive capacity of smallholder farmers to sustainably increase the productivity of rice thereby increasing their incomes at a sustainable level in Liberia.
Speaking at the launching ceremony on June 3, 2019 the National Project Coordinator Agronomist for the Ministry of Agriculture, Victor Kolleh said the project will be implemented in two counties in the Country.
Mr. Kolleh named Bong and Lofa County, maintaining that in Bong the project will be implemented in Panta District, while in Lofa will be implemented in Voinjama & Quardigbondi Districts.
“This project will focus on rehabilitating 50 hectares of lowland to produce rice primarily for consumption. Additionally, the project will help to strengthen the underdeveloped value chain of rice covering infrastructure development, production as well as post-harvest development including milling, packaging and marketing,” he said.
He further said two post-harvest facilities will be built to host proceeds and processing implements (rice mills, De-stoner, threshers, storage and drying slides).
Additionally, Kolleh said farmers’ capacity will be built to maintain, use and manage these facilities.
He revealed that the project will be implemented by the MoA in partnership with AfricaRice and in close collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with technical support from FAO.
Mr. Kolleh said the project will form synergies with the Small Agriculture Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization lowland rice production project which is being implemented by the MoA Project Management Unit (PMU) and the Japanese funded lowland rice production project implemented by WFP in Bong County.
Also speaking at the launch, the Japan International Cooperation Agency Representative to Liberia, Shiyeki Nambo pledged his government commitment to the full implementation of the project in the two counties in the Country.
He expressed his government willingness in helping the government of Liberia in becoming self-food productivity.
For his part, Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana Flomo lauded the government of Japan for such initiative in the country, especially helping the Ministry of Agriculture in achieving its goal when it comes to making Liberia self-food productivity.
The Liberian Agriculture Minister described the launched of the Integrated Sustainable Rice System Development in the country as a big boost for the MoA.
Dr. Flomo told framers from the two counties to take full responsibility of the project by helping the government to curtail the importation of rice from order neighboring countries.