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Grand Gedeh:‘Rise and take the Giant Steps’

Tchien Education Officer tells Agriculture youth graduates

Grand Gedeh: Seventy-one youth have walked out of the walls of Oxfam Education for Youth Empowerment (EYE) program with skills in general agriculture, fish, goat pig, chicken cassava, and vegetable -production.

This is the third and final batch of graduates of the Reintegration and Recovery Program phase V (RRP5), a development program of the Republic of Liberia, co-financed by the Federal Government of Germany through KFW in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance Development Planning.

The graduates were urged by Madam L. Siede Williams -Kopah, District Education Officer, Tchien District, to engage in the production of vegetables for sustainable development.

She said, “Now that you have the knowledge and skills needed to grow vegetables, go ahead and increase the number of vegetables that are on markets in Zwedru.”

Williams-Kopah, serving as the guest speaker, also cautioned the graduates to impact their communities, towns, county, and country to provide poultry meat and egg beginning with markets in Zwedru.

“Who told you, you can’t supply Grand Gedeh County with surplus pig, poultry products and lots of vegetables, you only need to recognize your potential, rise and take the giant step, “she questioned grads.

The program benefitted three categories of direct beneficiaries which included Lead farmers, Peri-urban farmers and underprivileged youths.

The Lead farmers are teachers who strengthened the capacity of existing farmers in improved farming methods. They also provided technical support through farmers’ field school, monitoring, and coaching to peri-urban farmers. As a result of these supports, they have reported increased incomes generation.

At the same time, the peri-urban farmers are mostly women who were already involved with farming activities and needed additional technical support. While the underprivileged youths are people who have never been to or drop-out from school.

There were several activities initiated by Oxfam with focus on providing technical training to 500 peri-urban farmers, 10 lead farmers, and 180 underprivileged youths for increased agricultural production in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.

The training included crop production, food processing, harvesting and storage, market and value chain development, business management, and nutrition.

The project achieved more than 50 percent female participation and contributed to improved livelihoods opportunities to 600 direct beneficiaries.

According to James E. Kanneh, Acting Education Manager, Oxfam, the project created a linkage to agro-input dealers from Nimba, who will supply the farmers upon farmers’ request.

He said the linkage was established to minimize the challenges farmers faced in getting agro-inputs to Zwedru.

Kanneh furthered that the 500 peri-urban farmers have demonstrated improved knowledge and understanding of modern methods of farming and have applied the knowledge acquired over the period.

While the Youth Agriculture TVET beneficiaries, the 71 graduates bring the total to 178 of which 102 are females and 76 are males.

They all have received start-up kits which comprise farming tools, hybrid seeds, and a pair of their specialty.

Oxfam Program Director, Eugene Beleto said skills development remains a major priority to ensure quality skills development opportunities for youth.

He said Oxfam has implemented several phases of the Education for Youth Empowerment (EYE) Program in Grand Gedeh County since 2012.

Beleto thanked the Government of Liberia, RRP5 Project Steering Committee and RRP5 consortium members which include Welt Hunger Hilfe & Medica Liberia for their productive collaboration.

“Counting from 1995, Oxfam has been working in Liberia over the past 25 years, in partnership with local actors, and has implemented projects addressing issues on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH), Education-technical and vocational training for youth and young women in livelihoods (agriculture and other income generation activities) and gender justice in Liberia.”

He said, “Like many organizations, the COVID19 crisis has had a significant impact on Oxfam’s finances. We’ve had to cancel fundraising events and absorb rising costs. While the crisis means that Oxfam’s work is needed now more than ever, but we now have less money to pay for it. 

Meanwhile, Beleto disclosed that Oxfam is expected to phase out its presence from 18 of its 66 country offices.

He said on March 31, 2022, Oxfam in Liberia will be closed.

“That is why we have been closely working with all our strategic partners including WHH, EU, and the government of Liberia to ensure proper handover of our legacies, and successful close-down of the program.”

He said the Education for Youth Empowerment (EYE) Center will be handover to the 

Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education and the Grand Gedeh County Authority for official and full takeover on Dec 31, 2021.

“As Oxfam leaves Liberia soon, we wish MoE, the County Authority, and the Government of Liberia as well as other partners all the best in keeping this center active and useful for the majority [of] youths who are still out there but need this empowerment opportunity.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/agri-resources-group-promoting-sustainable-agriculture-as-a-response-to-the-global-pandemic/


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by the Searchlight Communications Inc. Office is located on The UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is a bilingual (both English & French).
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