Cassava farmers in three districts of Bomi County were over the weekend put into the Innovation platform (IP) in Tia Town, Klay District, BomiCounty.Speaking at the Innovation Platform Meeting, Sensee L. Sirleaf, Executive Director of the Human Development Foundation (HDF) disclosed that the project is Innovation Platform Cassava Value Chain which is being sponsored by the World Bank (WB), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), as well as the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP), Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH) formerly German Argo Action (GAA) while his organization is the implementing partner.
He pointed out that the ultimate objective of the program is to capacitate cassava farmers by teaching them new methods of cassava production so that their produce can become perfect substitute to rice, Liberia’s staple food. He also stressed that farmers should consider agriculture as a business.
According to the Executive Director, the project is presently being implemented in Klay,Dewein and Senjeh Districts in Bomi County. “We have established 30 hectares of farm land for cassava production with 30 farming groups formed in the mentioned locales above, he stated.”
He continued that the Innovation Platform consists of producers, processors, transporters, marketers, policy markers, nutritionists, researchers, and extensionists.
The Head of the Human Development Foundation (HDF) urged executive officials and members of the Innovation Platform (IP) to work harder so that the project can be a success for their own benefits. He then assured them that they will be trained so as to be prepared for the challenges ahead.
Mr. William S. Marshall, team leader of the project from Welthungerhilfe (WHH) stated that his organization provides administrative oversight as well as in the field.
According to him, the project is very important for the farmers because it will add value to their production and as a result they will realize economic returns as a group as well as an individual family.
He said his organization will always carry out site visits for monitoring purpose and urged them to be committed to their farming activities so that the donors can be satisfied.
For his part, Christopher D. Momo, County Agriculture Coordinator, Bomi County said he was delighted that Madam Florence Chenoway , Minister of Agriculture (MoA) earlier promised to put money in farmer’s pockets has come to reality.
According to him the Innovation Platform (IP) is a result of the Minister’s intense lobby to multilateral organizations for sponsorship of agricultural projects for farmers in Liberia. He described the project as unique because it will improve and increase cassava production in the county.
Mr. Alfred B.S. Zinnah, Commissioner, Klay District, Bomi County expressed thanks and appreciation to the sponsors including the implementing of the project.
He said when the farmers are organized, it leads to increase in cassava production and acknowledged that the Innovation Platform (IP) was necessary for the farmers. Commissioner Zinnah then challenged the farmers to consider working as a group for a speedy result.
“Any problem you will encounter while doing your work, please inform my office for prompt action,” he assured them.
Those who were elected as Executive Members of the Innovation Platform (IP) are, James K. Weefur, Chairman; Betty K. Kollie, Co- Chair; Mobolization others are, Varney K. Massaley, Co- Chair Operations; Abraham Kromah, Secretary while Massa Varney, James V. Colemman and WeattaZinnah are Treasurer, Chaplain and Advisor respectively.