A week long farmers’ consultation initiated by the Farmers Union Network (FUN) has ended in Lofa County with 75 farmer organizations in attendance.
The consultation which is an ongoing initiative of the Farmers Union Network is aimed at highlighting challenges faced by farmers in the country.
Addressing the farmers at the start of the consultation, the National Coordinator of the Farmers Union Network Rev, Robert Bimba, said the consultation intends to identify various farming activities Liberian farmers are engaged in the country.
Rev. Bimba told the farmers to do away with dependency syndrome and consider the issue of Agriculture activities as a business to improve their lives and make the country self-sufficient.
According to Rev. Bimba, gone are the days when farmers depended only on extended support before engaging in meaningful agriculture activities to sustain themselves, and challenged formers in Lofa to maintain the county’s long history of being Liberia’s bread basket in food production.
Rev. Bimba encouraged the farmers that there were lots of supports in package from various international organizations through government’s negotiation for formers empowerment, but said only serious minded and committed farmers would benefit from these supports.
“The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture is making progress with support from its development partners to empower Liberian farmers, but let me challenged you that the only way we (farmers) will benefit from these supports is for us to organize ourselves and be serious,” Rev Bimba indicated.
The Farmers Union Network National Coordinator told the farmers most of whom are involved in individual farming to rise above such level and concentrate on cooperatives (group farming) in order to add more value to their produces for marketing.
Rev. Bimba urgent the farmers to unite and avoid confusion in ensuing that the impact of agriculture programs are felt throughout the country.
He said given the fact where most of the country’s stable food is inputted, the need for farmers’ effort to be consolidated in buttressing government’s dream of making the county self-reliant in food production must be taken seriously.
In separate remarks, the farmers praised the Farmers Union Network for providing the platform where they (farmers) can be heard to propose recommendations needed to address the agriculture sector.
According to the farmers, they are capable of ensuring food sufficiency in the country and appealed to the Network to liaise with government to provide agriculture materials to supplement their effort.
The Farmers cited holes, shovels, cutlasses, Rain Boots, Rain Cots, Gloves, fertilizers and seeding, as materials urgently needed to boost their efforts.