United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ()FAO, has donated farming equipment valued over US$35,000 to the College of Agriculture and Integrated Development Studies of the Cuttington University in Suakoko , Bong County.
Items donated include three rice processing machines, liquid fertilizers, bird bells, axes, shovels zinc and an assortment of basic farming implements. The donation is part of the FAO’s agriculture sector support program in Liberia.
Making the presentation Thursday , the Administrator of FAO-Liberia Cheick Ousmane Toore, said the organization’s intervention at the agriculture college is in response to earlier request by the institution for assistance to enhance the practical demonstration of its agriculture students.
He said the FAO will continue collaborating with the Agriculture College depending on funding to promote the culture of excellence among students studying agriculture so the sector can realize a flow of trained professionals to transform the country’s agriculture sector.
Mr. Toore urged the students to make maximum use of the tools to improve their practical knowledge on the usage of the various farming implements because they have a huge task to perform ahead upon graduation.
He stressed that the FAO remains supportive of the agriculture sector of Liberia in various aspects to ensure an accelerated economic recovery process through the empowerment of local farmers to alleviate poverty and create income generating alternatives for rural dwellers.
Receiving the tools on behalf of the college, its dean Dr. Gary Lake, lauded the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency for the generosity, which he said will help to strengthen practical and technical component of the Agriculture College.
Dr. Lake described the donation as timely, which will immensely buttress the ongoing transformation process at the institution to ensure academic excellence among students majoring in agriculture.
He said to ensure an immediate utilization of the equipment, about 30 senior students on research project are being listed to become the first batch of beneficiaries of the donation to enable them conduct research with ease. The agriculture college dean assured that a proper management system would be put in place to guide the usage of the tools.
Meanwhile, Dr. Lake has disclosed plans for the construction of a center of excellence in agriculture education in Liberia at the Cuttington University through a USAID grant under the Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development program.