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GoL seeks  to develop 2,000 hectares of land in Bong for agriculture 

When undertaken in Bong County, the agricultural initiative will help boost food security and the Government’s ARREST Agenda.

Monrovia, March 22, 2024: Through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the Government of Liberia plans to develop 2,000 hectares of land in Bong County for agricultural purposes.

The area targeted is  Bong Mines, Fuamah District, Bong County.

 The initiative aligns with the government’s commitment to supporting local farmers in boosting agriculture in Liberia.

It is also part of the government’s Agriculture, Roads, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation and Tourism (ARREST) agenda, which is intended to increase food security in the country.

Agriculture Minister Alexander Nuetah unveiled the government’s plans during a recent visit to Bong Mines, where he officially relaunched the Fuamah District Multipurpose Cooperative Society (FDMCS).

The 2,000 hectares of land to be developed are owned by the FDMCS and located in the Fuamah District, a region known for its fertile soil and favorable climate for agriculture. The land will also be used for cultivating a variety of crops, including rice, cassava, and vegetables.

The FDMCS is a cooperative with over 986 members and a beneficiary of a grant intervention by the MoA and partners under its Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR- P) and Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP).

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STAR-P and RETRAP are supported by the World Bank (WB) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). Through this collaboration, farmers in Bong and other counties have witnessed remarkable improvements in their livelihoods.

With funding from IFAD, the STAR Project is focused on providing agricultural financing, institutional capacity building, and an enabling environment for farmers, agribusinesses, and state and non-state actors, as well as enhancing productivity and competitiveness.

Meanwhile, the RETRAP project, funded by the WB, seeks to develop or enhance competitiveness and market access through productive alliances, strengthen agri-marketing, and engage in road infrastructure investments.

STAR-P and RETRAP are being implemented across the 15 counties with a combined target of 98,000 beneficiaries in the cassava, oil palm, rice, rubber, piggery, poultry, and vegetable and rice value chains.

One key focus has been on providing farmers with access to quality seeds, modern farming techniques, and necessary resources, equipping them with the right tools and knowledge to optimize their productivity and increase their crop yields.

Speaking during the cooperative’s relaunch, Minister Nuetah also announced that the Joseph Boakai administration will collaborate with the FDMCS to provide a platform for local farmers to pool their resources, share knowledge and skills, and collectively market their produce.

He also stressed the importance of collaboration among farmers and the need for them to work together to overcome challenges and seize opportunities in the agricultural sector, pledging the government’s fullest support towards the development of the hectares.

According to him, as per the President’s intention of wanting farmers to use farming to improve their lives, the Ministry of Agriculture, under his leadership, will ensure that all local farmers across Liberia farm for income generation and not for feeding alone, as was done in the past.

He maintained, “So, I am going to tell the President that I am developing 2,000 hectares of land in Fuamah for rice production, and if I tell him that, you also have to defend me by doing the job. So, whatever is needed to develop the 2,000 hectares, I am prepared.”

“Because as Minister of Agriculture and with the blessing of the President who is passionate about Agriculture, I am prepared to develop the entire 2,000 hectares of land that you have here because my plan is not just to produce rice but to follow the entire value chain and not just the production,” he said.

“But you as farmers have an obligation, and if we say we will do it for you, you have the obligation to make it achievable. I am not a Minister who sits in the office, so once we get started, I will be visiting this field every month to see the level of progress by this cooperative,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, Minister Nuetah also disclosed that he will work with the STAR—P and RETRAP projects to build some warehouses and a rice mill, which will include a bigger processing plant that can process all the rice harvested by the cooperative and its surroundings.

He also assured them that once they remain committed to producing 2,000 metric tons annually, he will work with the Ministry of Commerce to commit the government to cut down rice importation by 2,000 metric tons to ensure that local farmers’ rice is sold on the market.

Earlier, the FDMCS Chairman, Prince D. Peter, described the intervention of the government, coupled with the donation of the marching grants, as a relief package, noting that it has enabled them to expand production from 100 hectares to 500 last farming season.

He added, “Since the end of the civil crisis and in the history of the cooperative, this is the first time we have been able to expand production in such a manner, and since the establishment of the cooperative, we can now boast of a vast swampland, even though production is always low.”

At the same time, several local farmers expressed optimism about the government’s plans. They welcomed the relaunch of the cooperative, stating that working together through the cooperative will help them access new markets, increase their incomes, and improve their livelihoods.— Press release

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2 Comments

  1. Honorable minister of Agriculture in person of Dr. J Alexander Nuetah, I am interested to be a part of this project.
    I am a 2018 graduate from the college of General Agriculture and Forestry university of Liberia.

    It’s a brilliant idea that inputation of rice to Liberia, must be minimize and farmers rice should be sold on the market.

  2. Prince D Peters Chairman Fuamah District Multipurpose Cooperative society Bong mines Lower Bong county says:

    There ELBC,
    Thank you so much for making our voices to be heard, we are more grateful and promise to be committed to our commitment in puting Liberia on the map in mass food production.

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