The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the Liberian government has officially launched the Integrated Sustainable Rice System Development Project at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko District, Bong County, to further improve the rice sector.
The project is being developed and funded by the Government of Japan with the FAO providing technical support.
Victor Kolleh, National Project Coordinator at the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), said the project is geared toward enhancing the productive capacity of smallholder farmers to sustain and increase productivity of rice and increase their incomes.
The project, according to Kolleh, will be implemented in Panta District, Bong County and Voinjama and Quardu Gboni districts in Lofa County. It will also focus on rehabilitating 50 hectares of lowland to produce rice primarily for consumption, and it will last for 12 months in the respective counties.
Additionally, the project will help to strengthen the underdeveloped value chain of rice, which will cover infrastructure development, production, as well as post-harvest development to include milling, packaging and marketing.
Kolleh informed the gathering that two post-harvest facilities will be constructed in the selected communities that will be equipped with modern processing equipment such as rice mills, De stoner, threshers, storage and drying slides.
Participants at the launch of the Integrated Sustainable Rice System Development Project at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI)
The project is also intended to increase food security and incomes for farmers to improve the capacity of the MoA in the development of a competitive and inclusive rice value chain and to impact sustainable and productive rice system.
Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana S. Flomo Jr., who officially launched project, lauded the FAO and the Japanese Government for the technical and financial supports. He assured them of the Liberian government’s commitment to supporting the agriculture sector.