The United Nation Food agency, FAO recently ended a week long Training of Trainer workshop in basic vegetable production and agriculture best practices for rural farmers. The program trained over forty vegetable growers at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARE) in Suacoco District, Bong County.
Participants were master farmers, who were involved mainly with vegetables in Bong, Nimb, and Rural Montserrado Counties. Speaking at the end of training, J. Kanie Merfee, FAO Deputy Training Coordinator indicated that the training was a component of the joint food security project intended to strengthen and enhance the capacity of farmers to maximize productivity.
The 6-million EC funded joint food security project is being implemented by the FAO, UNDP, WFP and Ministry of Agriculture, targeting over 16, 000 farmers in Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, as well as Montserrado, Margibi , Grand Bassa and Bomi counties, mainly involved with rice and vegetable production.
The FOA training coordinator stressed that beneficiaries of the training would be selected as master trainers in their various communities to ensure the trigger-down effect of the exercise in the local farming communities from which they were selected for the training.
He the urged the trainees to make maximum impact on their various communities and avoid withholding the new skills acquired as a result of the training.
Mr. Merfee asserted that the FAO and its partners were determined to jointly work with the farmers to ensure the improvement of the food security situation in the country at a highly considerable level.
The just ended training focused on nursery making and care, fertilizer application, pest management, using the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Approach, as well as compost making and use, harvesting, processing and storage, including market assessment, among others.
Facilitators of the training were drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Central Agricultural Research Institute and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Participants at the training in a passionate plea to the Government and its partners emphasized the compelling need for the rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads throughout the country to enable them transport their locally produced commodities on the local markets.
The farmers, pointing at challenges they encountered, noted that most often their commodities spoiled after harvest because of the inaccessibility of most farming communities due to the deplorable road network.
“Our efforts are being wasted, nothing we highly realize from our farms because of this bad road business” a farmer from Bong County figured out.