The Director General – designate of the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Bong County Dr. Marcus Jones has received a rousing welcome from cross session of workers of the institution after his appointment by President George Manneh Weah.
According to our Bong County correspondent, the parade publicly demonstrated the willingness of workers of the institution to work with their Director General if confirmed by the Liberian Senate.
Making remarks at the brief occasion, Dr. James S. Dolo, a research Scientist hailed President George Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor and Electoral District #3 Rep. Josiah Marvin Cole for the efforts in restoring the dignity of the institution by appointing an innovative young man to steer the affairs of the institution.
According to him, he sees Dr. Jones as a unifier and one who is best suited to repair the broken pieces left by his predecessors.
Dr. Dolo believes that the approach to revitalization of agriculture research in Liberia as envisioned in the FAPS depends on the involvement of workers of the Institution.
He added that considerable change has occurred in the conceptual frameworks underlying agricultural research systems since CARI was first established in 1980.
Dr. Dolo says in order to achieve the framework of the research institute in the country, the need for staffer’s participatory inclusion cannot be overemphasized.
He wants workers not to see the institute as a political ground, but an institution that is meant to improve the agricultural sector of Liberia.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the head of the field workers at the institution congratulated the Director General – designate for his preferment and called on him to increase their salaries if confirmed by the Liberian Senate.
According to him, the field does the difficult work and take low salary while others only sit in offices and make salaries above them.
He is requesting the CARI boss – designate to pay serious attention to field workers if CARI must succeed in its quest.
The field workers have also applauded outgoing Director General Dr. Walter Wiles for the little increment made in their salaries and called on the Director General – designate to follow the good example of Dr. Wiles.
For his part, Dr. Marcus Jones says there will be serious focus on intensive research activities for an improved agriculture sector.
According to him, the institute, purposely for research would ensure prospects for the sector during the tenure of his administration as a way of improving the country’s food security.
Dr. Jones names effective extension, education and communication services as some key strategies he will deploy under his administration to ensure a sustainable agricultural growth, strengthening food security and combating hunger and malnutrition in the country.
He believes that agricultural extension is the vehicle or system for delivering useful information to farmers and assisting those farmers to develop requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to make use of the information or technology effectively.
Counting on the history of agriculture extension in Liberia, Dr. Jones told this paper in an interview that the process has often failed due to the lack of communicating technical information to farmers in a way that will enable them to accept, understand and use the information effectively.
He says an effective balance between indigenous and scientific approaches will help fast-track the sector, and vows to initiate this under his watch as Director General, if confirmed.
Dr. Jones says he wants extension workers and research technicians like CARI to use the media for disseminating information on new method and techniques, giving timely information about the control of crop pest and disease, weather, and market news if the agricultural system in the country must meet the standard as compared to other countries in the world.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong County–Edited by Winston W. Parley