Samjac Agro Industry Cooperation, MOA Embark On Cassava Project
By Antoinette Sendolo
Samjac Agro Industry Cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on its Cassava yield and palatability check in Jackville, Margibi County aimed at show-casing the products from the most modern farming method.
The process intends to take cassava farming to another level through the use of what is referred to as the most modern farming method which allows farmers to achieve sufficient products from their farm lands.
According to the head of Samjac Agro Industry Cooperation, Mr. Sam mentee, the project is geared towards the improvement of cassava farming in the country and improving the skills of small farm owners who are still involved with what he termed as the old way of farming.
Mr. Mentee said though there are lots of challenges faced by farmers in the country, there is still a need for them to move from their old style of farming to modern farming method, highlighting marketing as a major challenge faced by farmers.
According to the head of Samjac, there are about ten varieties of cassava which were being checked and show-cased recently in Jackville, Margibi County noting that his industry is working with over six communities in that part of the country in order to improve farming in Liberia.
He said farmers are doing their best to improve cassava production but they lack the necessary farming equipment needed to make their work more effective and simply adding that having all the important farming impiments will help farmers add values to what they grow.
“The best way to improve in cassava farming is by adding values to it by turning it into farina and fufu among other things for human consumption but now the lack of machines poses serious threat to farmers’ improvement,” Mr. Mentee stated.
Mr. Mentee then called on all farmers to take ownership of what they are doing stressing that in order for Liberia to have food security, farmers should be prepared to take the lead in food development in the country.
Also speaking at the ceremony was one of the farmers in Margibi, Mrs. Hannah Slucum who named the lack of necessary farming equipment as a major problem which is hampering the growth of farmers, especially female farmers.
She said women face lots of challenges ranging from transportation, buyers and lack of equipment among others stressing that those women who are farmers in Margibi County need farming machines in order to facilitate their work since they do not have money to pay people to brush their farms before they start to plant.
Madam Slucum said if women farmers are supported and given all the necessary farming equipment, they will be able to supply the country with food noting that the cost of food importation to the country will reduce.
She disclosed that about seventy- five percent of the women in Margibi County are engaged in farming activities and they have also been trained on improved cassava farming and as such they need to be supported by the government of Liberia and other partners in the country.
At the same time, USAID’s representative, Samba Kawa, has called on farmers to be organized in order to improve farming in the country noting that it is possible for Liberians to feed the country through what they grow on their farms.
He added that it is necessary for farmers to have the basic farming equipment and that USAID would try to listen to the voices of the farmers and remain committed in working with local farmers in the country.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture through its West Africa Agriculture Productivity program (WAAPP) has called on farmers to adapt to the new method of farming stressing that though it is expensive, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture will continue to work with them to ensure that they achieve the goal of the project.