Dr. Innousa Akintayo, Country Director of Africa Rice, an agricultural based organization has said that introducing new technologies of farming in agriculture will make Liberia a food secured nation.
Africa Rice, in collaboration with Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization Project (SAPEC), recently introduced new farming technologies meant to boost rice production in the country. The venture is said to have yielded some results, according to Dr. Akintayo.
The new farming technologies, focused on food security and poverty alleviation through capacity-building to boost local production of rice, is also expected to help reveal many potentials in the country's Agriculture Sector, especially in the production of rice.
The three-year project, which commenced in 2015, is being implemented in 12 of the 15 counties, excluding Nimba, Bong and Lofa.
According to Dr. Akintayo, equipment used by these new technologies are mostly labor-saving tools that help farmers in the targeted counties to increase their production, using little manual labor.
The labor saving equipment include rice seeders/planter, rice reapers, harvesters, threshers, weeders and par boilers.
Dr. Akintayo said that rice farmers are to benefit from climate change, resilient rice varieties and modern land preparation technologies.
"As Liberia strives to become a food secured nation by reducing the huge importation of food, the Africa Rice in collaboration with SAPEC introduced the new technologies program to grow and harvest rice for farmers so that they can be encouraged to grow more food in a very easy way as compare to what they already used to do in the past," Akintayo said.
He said the introduction of the technologies is to unlock the potential for agriculture in the country so that farmers can produce more food, especially rice which is the country's staple.
The new technologies are not strange to other countries except Liberia, because local farmers are into subsistence farming rather than commercial. This is due to the lack of new technologies that make the agriculture sector more attractive, increasing yields.
Several farmers, who are direct beneficiaries of such project, have been trained on how to fabricate rice threshers, mill and several other farming equipment intended to reduce the high labor practice during farming.
Those farmers have lauded Africa Rice for introducing such a method. They say it is helping them grow their rice in the easiest way possible. Now they can yield more results from their produce at various farms.
Such courage from local farmers, according to Akintayo, led the organization to train over 1,000 youths into the production of mushrooms, in an effort that is meant to attract them to agriculture.
Several youths are now benefiting from the training and have started to generate income from the production of mushrooms, which is one of the fastest money making crops.