Studies are said to be conducted at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County for the speedy improvement of agriculture productivity.
The acting head for agriculture mechanization and irrigation engineering program at CARI Mr. Anthony Tarplah told an interview on 20 November that they have embarked on the fabrication of several farming tools to reduce the high labor farmers face in the sector.
Mr. Tarplah says at present, he and his professional team-mates at CARI are fabricating weeders for testing to ensure that farmers reduce the burden they face during the weeding process.He adds that farmers in the County are challenged with weeding in their rice, a condition that poses serious backache to them most especially during production on lowland.
Mr. Tarplah names rotary weeder as the most single best tool farmers would like to use to properly manage their farms for speedy agriculture productivity.According to him, after his mentorship with AfricaRice, he experienced that a lot of farmers complained that the weeding aspect was hindering their operations.
The CARI official notes that after their experiment with the rotary weeder produced by them, they will visit farmers across Bong County to introduce the new technology to them.After introducing the weeders to the farmers, Mr. Tarplah explains that the ones produced by the CARI team will be distributed to the local farmers to begin using them to save time and speed up their farming practices.
He has meanwhile called on the Liberian government through the Ministry of Agriculture to be more innovative in finding ways to improve the production of Liberian farmers.
He believes that by doing so, government will help local farmers in the country to cultivate more farming land in their various localities.He adds that it will also help the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
He cautions that if President George Manneh Weah should achieve his goals, agriculture needs to be prioritized in the country.He laments that government spends millions of dollars just to import the country’s staple food, rice.
CARI was created in 1980 from the Central Agricultural Experiment Station (CARES) to conduct both adaptive and applied research in agriculture.In the 1980‘s, the Institute had seven commodity-based programmes (rice, cassava, cattle, swine, cocoa, coffee, and vegetables).
However, CARI was devastated by the civil war both in human and physical terms. But it restarted very limited operations in 2006, focusing on the provision of planting materials for rice, cassava, yam and a limited range of cultivars of maize, beans, and soybeans.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan on Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley