14 June 2017

Liberia: Chinese Center Launches Support for Farmers

The China-Liberia Agriculture Cooperation Project Team (CLATCPT) based at the China-aided Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Suakoko, Bong County has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kpatawee Farmer Organization to enhance agriculture production in the Kpatawee waterfall area in Bong County.

The China-Liberia Agriculture Cooperation Project Team comprises professionals brought to the center by the Chinese Government to support the Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Agricultural Research Institute to enhance agriculture technology and sustainability of agriculture development in Liberia, while the

Kpatawee Farmer-Based Organization (KFBO), is a local agriculture production group based in Kpatawee Clan.

Speaking at the signing ceremony recently, the vice general manager of the center, Kobe Zhang, said the agriculture exchange and technological cooperation is intended to consolidate, develop and strengthen cooperation in the fields of agriculture production and training.

"This memorandum aims to establish a framework for cooperation and understanding in order to promote agricultural technology and further strengthen bilateral cooperation and technical training, demonstration, extension and farm development.

"We will achieve the objectives of this MOU through regular consultations and that assurance has been demonstrated since the construction of this center," Kobe added.

"This agricultural technology exchanges and cooperation partnership focuses on farm development which includes rice and vegetable production, training and exchanges of practical technology of agriculture and introduction of new agricultural technology and varieties and research demonstration among others," he emphasized.

As part of the MOU, the Kpatawee Farmer-Based Organization and the China-Liberia Agriculture Corporation Project Team also signed an Agriculture Production Repurchase Contract with the Pan Atlantic International Trade Incorporated.

Mr. Kobe said, under the contract, the Pan Atlantic International Trade incorporated will purchase the produce from the farm in Kpatawee, adding, "The contract pertains to the production of both paddy upland and lowland rice and vegetable variety which includes Chinese pepper, eggplant, Chinese long beans and bitter-gourd, among others."

During the first phase of the project four hectares of lowland and four hectares of upland rice as well as 0.4 hectares of vegetables will be cultivated for the first season and expanded according to demand.

He added that the center will provide agriculture inputs and technical support to the farmers.

Mr. Zhang said, production, post-harvest and market demand plans as well as storage facility are major priorities in the agreement to increase farm production in Kpatawee.

Kobe said the China-Liberia Agriculture Technology Demonstration Center is an entrance to the improvement of agriculture in Liberia and is under the organization of the Liberia Long ping Agriculture Development Company Limited in China.

"It is important to invest in food and we promise to support the farmers in Kpatawee in their endeavor to enhance self-sufficiency in food production. The Center is a major research and training ground for Liberians venturing into agricultural activities.

"It contains machineries such as tractors, hand rollers, rice mills and other essential equipment for agriculture productivity," he stressed.

"Since the establishment of the Center by the Chinese agriculture technicians, numerous training opportunities have been provided for several Liberians in the areas of animal husbandry, machine operation and other agriculture-related exercise," Kobe noted.

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