Recently, the United Nations World Food Programme or WFP, through the Ministry of Agriculture or MOA, handed over four semi-industrial rice milling machines to the farmers’ Cooperative in Gedin, Nimba County. The donation is part of WFP’s framework of purchase for progress (p4p), a WFP corporate initiative, to purchase food locally for use in WFP feeding Program in three of Liberia’s counties, namely Lofa, Nimba and Bong. The program is geared towards contributing to Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS).
It could be recalled that on March 10, 2009, the government launched the two-year p4p program to enable smallholder farmers, majority of who are women, to supply high quality food commodities to WFP operation in the country and thereby augment their income.
Currently, a total of US$17.00 is being paid for a bag of paddy rice while farmers receive up to US$38,080 for the 112 metric tons of paddy rice sold under the p4p program.
In view of the foregoing, we commend WFP for the donation because it seeks to improve the efficiency of farmer groups in rice processing. With the donation of machines, we are of the view that production will be improved thereby enhancing the p4p program in Nimba.
However, we encourage the WFP to continue such good gesture not only to Nimba County, but to other counties in a bid to make farmers productive and efficient.
No doubt, investment in the agriculture sector cannot be over emphasized. If farmers are empowered, we further believe, this will promote self sufficiency in food production and enhance economic recovery.
In the same token, we urge the beneficiaries to take good care of the donated machines and use them for the intended purpose. We want to remind the beneficiaries that they stand to benefit from more gestures once they use the donated machines for the intended purpose.
o this end, we again commend WFP for the donation, and encourage the organization to keep up the good work.