The Ministry of Agriculture has officially launched the distribution of fertilizers, farming tools and assorted seeds to 7500 farmers in Lofa County as part of an emergency package to assist farmers affected by the interruption of imports of agriculture implements due to the global lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency package is targeting 1500 vegetable farmers, 2000 cassava farmers, 2000 upland rice farmers and 2000 lowland rice farmers in the county. Funding for the emergency support to farmers was acquired through the Tree Crop Extension Project II (TCEP-II) funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). TCEP-II was repurposed through amendment to its budget to contribute to Liberia’s COVID-19 Response.
Speaking at the launched of the distribution exercise in Kluka town in upper Lofa County, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Planning and Development Mr. Robert K. Fagans said the emergency support to farmers in the county is in support of the government’s program to stimulate agricultural development in the country. “Agriculture is a major priority of this government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD)” he noted.
Deputy Minister Fagans said the government is negotiating with other friendly governments and development partners to source additional support for farmers in other counties. He however cautioned the beneficiaries to use the support package for the intended purpose. He said the support is aim at stimulating farming activities and if the fertilizer, tools and seeds are used for the intended purpose, the donor community will be encouraged to provide additional support.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Acting Director of the Program Management Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Ansu S. Konneh commended the donor community for the support in stimulating agriculture activities in the country. He offered special thanks to President George Manneh Weah for providing the overall vision for agricultural development in the country. Mr. Konneh warned against the sale of the item noting that any community engaging in such practice will be reprimanded in accordance with the due process of law.
Various women groups including elders and citizens of Kluka town and nearby villages witnessed the program.