In efforts to tackle food security here, the Ministry of Agriculture in Maryland County is producing parboiled rice for local consumption. County Agriculture Coordinator Jerome Karnwea, says the parboiled rice produced in Maryland has the same quality as imported rice on the Liberian market.
He says the ministry’s partner, SAPEC and Africa deems it prudent to come to the aid of local farmers in the county by providing machines for the production of parboiled rice as means of introducing them to modern production to be on par with others in the sub-region.
Speaking to this paper in Chinese farm in Harper at the demonstration site, he notes that the objective is to put on the Harper market locally produced parboiled rice for the choice of the public in terms of consumption since rice is the country’s stable food.
The Maryland County Agriculture Coordinator encourages Marylanders to go for the locally produced parboiled rice because it possesses the same characteristics of all imported parboiled rice, naming Narika and Suakoko 8, among others as species being produced in the county.
Mr. Karnwea explains that the arrival of rice mill, thrasher, among other tools brought relief to local farmers and put smiles on their faces, as they are now producing rice with less labor than previously.
He recalls in the past farmers thrashed rice, using their feet and got clean rice from pounding the see rice in the mortar, which is more laborious, but the instruction of machines and tools is dawning of a new day that has enhanced productivity.
The agriculture coordinator is however calling on the county legislature caucus, government, and partners to provide support for agriculture in the county as a means of succeeding with the government’s pro-poor agenda, stressing, for President Weah’s pro-poor agenda to be successful, agriculture should be the bedrock.
He also discloses that the Ministry of Agriculture and partners have set up a green reserve in Gbawenken district#3 where smallholder farmers are making maximum use, and there are plans to set up a buying station in the county, if support were provided.
Series Jackson, a local farmer lauds SAPEC and Africa for the machines provided to the local agriculture ministry. He joins the county agriculture coordinator in calling on the caucus, government and partners to do more for local farmers across the country to ensure food security.
Mr. Jackson emphasizes that if Liberians grew what they eat, there would be no need to import rice from China, India, and other countries.
-By George K. Momo-Editing by Jonathan Browne