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Rural Farmers Crave Support

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By: Frank P. Martin

JUAZON/SINOE COUNTY: Over the years, citizens in the Southeastern Region and other parts of Liberia have complained of not being given much needed attention when it comes to agricultural activities.

Such complaints are being made despite Ministry of Agriculture and other agriculture donor-partners’ much publicized contributions and donations of seeds and tools to enhance food production in the country.

There are mounting claims that most Liberian farmers have been left unattended to.

Recently, Dr. J. Alexander Nuetah, unveiled the Peri-urban Agriculture Development Program aimed at empowering peri-urban dwellers by utilizing the swamp lands in their backyards for agricultural purposes.

“This program will enable farmers to cultivate rice during the rainy season, contributing to food security and economic empowerment.”

The new Agriculture Minister spoke on April 2, 2024 at the Ministry of Information regular Press briefing.

However, several farmers in rural parts of the country, particularly in Juazon Statutory District, Sinoe County, said the pronouncements being made by the government and its partners to effectuate change and growth in the country’s agricultural sector have had no trigger down effects on the locals who are engaged in subsistence farming across the nation over the years.

Liberia’s agricultural climate heavily depends on subsistence farming.

Nearly 45% of those who are engage in food production are subsistence farmers who mainly produce rice—the country staple food.

Government of Liberia’s intervention in agriculture activities to increase food production in the Liberia seems to be far from now, as many rural farmers struggle to access agricultural subsidies from government or donors.
Evidence to this can partly be directed to the Principal of Juazon Public High School, in Juazon Statutory District, Sinoe County, who is engaged in farming activities with the cultivation of over fifty acres (50acr) of Farm Land.

Speaking in an interview with this paper, Lawrence Ofosu said for the last five to ten years since he has been teaching in the institution, and up to the time he was named as Principal of the School, farming has been his backbone. The farmer said he has no support from any donor or government.

According to Mr. Ofuso, over the ten year period, he has been doing all his farming activities manually, and without the help of any partners or national government.

The Principal believes he can do more if he is supported with tools, equipment, capacity development among others.

He added that his farm products are what his family are surviving on and that his farm created job opportunities for some youth in the area.

Ofosu is the highest cassava producer in the county with the largest cassava plantation, covering over twenty-five acres of land in the district.

Some local farmers in the area used the medium to call on the Government of President Joseph Boakai through the Ministry of Agriculture to concentrate on the region.

One of the local farmers, Emerson Tatnewon, lamented I get over ten acres of farm land that I planted cassava, corn and other vegetable crops that will soon be harvested.

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