By Jefferson D. Tweh from Bomi
The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) which is funded by the World Bank and being implemented by the Program Management Unit (PMU) at the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the German Agro Action (GAA), known as Welthungerhilfe (WHH) on the international level, and Human Development Foundation (HDF) is serving as implementing partner on local level. Speaking at the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) cassava value chain Innovation Platform in Bomi County, the Executive Director of Human Development Foundation (HDF), Mr. Sensee L. Sirleaf, said the primary focus of the project is to increase productivity, value addition, and profitability of agricultural system among cassava farmers.
Mr. Sirleaf added that the project supports activities leading to intensification and commercialization of cassava, mostly through participatory methods, processes, and inclusive partnership network to guide cassava production in West Africa.
Mr.Sirleaf added that the cardinal objective of the project is to improve cassava value chain for small holders in eight counties; namely Bomi, Gbarpolu, Margibi, Bong, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland and Sinoe Counties.
According to him, the project has built the capacity of farmers and their organizations as well as relevant actors in the cassava value chain and improved their knowledge, skills and competence in cassava production, and contributed to improve the impact of training and dissemination of information with respect to cassava base production systems and value chain development.
He explained that the Human Development Foundation moved in Tubmanburg last year February where WAAPP Project was launched, and HDF went in three districts; Dewein, Klay, and Senjeh where 30 farmers’ groups consisting 600 cassava farmers were identified and selected at the grass root Innovation Platform level.
He stated that the Innovation Platform has brought together producers, processors, researchers, extension agents, transporters, input providers, local tools fabricators, nutritionists, marketers, policy makers to take ownership and operationalization of the platform.
WAAPP Coordinator, Kermoh Sheriff has lauded the farmers for being committed to work with partners and have produced more cassava in Bomi County. He also congratulated the World Bank and German Agro Action (GAA) for their tremendous contributions made which enabled famers to be empowered and continue with their farming activities.
Some of the farmers, who spoke to this paper, congratulated the project Manager of Wethungerhlife or German Agro Action (GAA) Madam Irene Sleven for her support and motivation given them in the county.
“Madam Sleven has been good to us and always encouraged us to take our farming activities seriously and produce more cassava, and we enjoyed the working relationship with her”, farmers expressed gratitude. The farmers also thanked the World Bank for the support given them.
During the program at the Tubmanburg City, some farmers from Klay, Dewein and Senjeh Districts were inducted in office as officials of Innovation Platform to steer the affairs in their respective areas.
Meanwhile one of the officials inducted in office lauded the Work Bank, West Africa Productivity Program (WAAPP), German Agro Action (GAA), or Wethungerhlife and Human Development Foundation (HDF), for the great support given the farmers to enable them continue with their farming activities and produce more cassava in Bomi.
“We appreciate you so much for your good gesture and support toward the farmers here in Bomi,” farmers reiterated their gratitude.