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Machinery training underway in Bong

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A three-week training of Machinery Fabricators and Artisans on fabrication of ASI Threshers has commenced in Gbarnga, Bong County. The training, which has brought together participants from various parts of the country, is intended to impact knowledge to local artisans on the fabrication of modern ASI rice threshers and other agricultural machineries with a view to build fabrication capacities of artisans in twelve of the counties of Liberia.

The training – sponsored by SAPEC under the Ministry of Agriculture, is being implemented by Africa Rice. Speaking at the opening of the training on Monday, the Director General of the Central Agriculture Research Institute or CARI, Dr. Walter Wiles, praised the effort to train artisans in the various parts of the country.

Dr. Wiles indicated that as Liberia is highly dependent on the importation of rice to feel its people, it would be difficult to feel itself using hooks and cutlasses. He said mechanized farming is a major solution to the food problem of the country.

Dr. Wiles told participants at the training that land preparation for farming was essential, but added that it is labor intensive and the use of machine could further help in such direction. He reminded participants that working together as a team will further enable them make more machines.

In his statement, Africa Rice Country Representative Innousa Akintayo said the training is the first of its kind in Liberia as artisans are being motivated to engage in the production of agricultural machines to help farmers make their work easy.

Dr. Akintayo noted that on several occasions, imported agricultural machines failed as farmers found it difficult to get spare parts, saying if local agricultural machine producers are capacitated, they will provide the needed machines to assist famers and easily have access to damaged parts, instead of the imported ones that are very difficult to obtain.

The sixteen participants currently taking part in the training were drawn from Bong, Lofa, Grand Kru, Lofa, as well as Nimba, among other counties. 

By Papa Morris from Gbarnga, Bong County

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