9 March 2017

Liberia: Chap Strengthens Technicians' Skills

As part of the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) whuich is committed to the implementation of the Japanese Rice Grant Project, the entity has completed a robust training of trainers exercise for six System of Rice Intensification Technicians (SRI Technicians) and other program staff. The training also included one Agronomist, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and an Accountant to help widen their understanding on the innovation (SRI)

During the period under review, the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) carried out SRI Technicians training for 6 SRI technicians and other program staff in several areas for onward project implementation. The training was geared toward broadening the minds of the SRI Technicians in the areas of CHAP operations.

In an effort to help participants have some understanding of the J-Rice Grant Project, they were provided an overview of the project and emphasized on it goal, objectives and four components that are to be considered during the project implementation.

Additionally, the facilitator reiterated that thegrant targets the development of the rice and cassava value chains so that households involved in rice and cassava production, particularly those affected by Ebola (either as actual victims of the disease or as economic victims) whose livelihoods were devastated by imposed stoppages of markets, businesses and transport, can recover and permanently improve their livelihoods through a sustainable rice and cassava market system.

Considering the importance of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methodology in the implementation of the J -Rice Grant project, CHAP found it prudent to take her field technicians through the SRI principles and framework so as to enable field staff have first hand information on the SRI and subsequently have it roll out with the farmers at field level.

The four principles of SRI were listed and explained in detail to the participants with facilitator encouraging questions from the audience so as enable participatory discussion.

According to the facilitator, the four principles of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Principles interact with each other to create a synergistic change in how rice plants grow. The four SRI principles are:

The technicians were further told that given the above principles, the practice and the adaptation of the improved methodology, SRI is an example of the climate smart change adaptation that once can use in a frame work. In addition to this, Nerica -L -19 is a variety that is most frequently used because in one year, this variety can go for three cycles. The reason been it is a three month variety.

Subsequently, the facilitator also explained the SRI nursery preparation including seed selection, testing and bed preparation to enhance the technicians capacities in ensuring that farmers has increase yield as set forth in the project document/proposal

The practical usage of the BCS 732 Tractor and Garden Weasel serve as a means of seed multiplication and as such, the technicians were allowed to do a practical on the usage of the above mentioned equipment (BCS 732 Tractor and Garden Weasel) in order to enhance their capacities while working with the farmers in the field.

GPS which is defined as the Global Positioning System is a device used to give accurate location and measurement of a given place.

Under the J -Rice Grant Project, the SRI technicians will be expected to effectively use the device in order to provide accurate location and measurement of lowland they will be working with. In this regard, the ToTs training took into consideration the introduction of the technicians to the practical usage of the device.

The facilitator emphasized on team building as the key to every success. He therefore defined team as "group of people coming together with one goal." He further exerted that "together everybody achieves more."

At the conclusion of the 3 days training, the Executive Director of the Community of Hope Agriculture Project in person of Rev. Robert S.M Bimba challenge the participants (SRI Technicians) to make use of available resources and strive to meet the J-Rice Grant Project objectives and goal for the overall success of the project.

The three day training was held both in Foya Lofa County and at the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) Office Zubah, town in Du-port Road.


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