Liberia and European Union Cooperation, in Agricultural Extension Research
By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- LIBERIA, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Country Representative – Njie accepts the MOU from Kaspers – EU Head for Cooperation for Implementation. The European Union (EU) Delegation to Liberia has gave two million Euro to rejuvenate extension services and research for smallholder farmers throughout Liberia as a way to guarantee sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security.
This was disclosed, when the Government of Liberia via the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) approved a Memorandum of Understanding on January 14th 2020, at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Monrovia.
This project has clocked three has the proclivity, “Linking Extension Research to Farmers for Sustainable Agriculture Food Security and Nutrition”, will be carried out by the FAO by working together with MOA and the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI).
Extension delivery Service and research retain a major constraint for the country’s agricultural sector. Many smallholder farmers throughout the country are lacking extension service, as a result; causing low productivity in the sector.
Head of Cooperation for the EU Delegation to Liberia – Theodorus Kaspers, intimated participants at the ceremony that, targeting the improvement of agricultural extension is the surest way to improve food security in Liberia.
“I wonder why this country cannot be food secured with the kind of vast agricultural potential. Food security and nutrition is a most fundamental issue, this is the reason several institutions are involved,” he noted.
“Linking Extension Research to Farmers for Sustainable Agriculture Food Security and Nutrition”, will be implemented by the FAO in collaboration with MOA and CARI. He stated that, the EU held high esteemed in FAO to implement the Extension project because of her ability to successfully carry out previous projects.
“I hope the collaboration of all the partners involved will enable this project to achieve its desired goal,” he warned.
From him, the EU remain helpful to Liberia’s agriculture sector to reduce poverty in the lives of farmers.
“I want to inquire where the government stands on the PAPD for agriculture,” he asked. Mariatou Njie, FAO Country Representative, said that the agricultural sector faces low productivity and as such, investment for extension is necessary to mitigate the challenge.
“To achieve a high standard of agricultural production the country has to have a strong research and extension systems. Therefore, this project provides an excellent opportunity to assist the government to tackle the root causes of poor agricultural performance for an improved food security and nutrition,” she said.
She stated that the project will further review, update and concretize the different elements of extension and research policies,” adding that it will reinforce the organizational and managerial capacities of both research and extension.
In the meantime, the FAO Country Representative made a clarion call on policy makers to expedite the passing of the National Policy for Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services.
Ernest J. Clerke – Assistant Minister for Administration at the MOA, thankfully heaped praises to the EU for its plentiful supports to the agricultural sector. That, MOA will work in tandem with FAO and CARI to guarantee the successful process of the project.
For New Africa Business News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent