Monrovia — The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mongana S. Flomo said the US$3.3 million construction and rehabilitation contracts awarded to eight local companies will improve the lives of many Liberians, especially farmers.
Under the agreement, the companies will construct the Robertsports Market in Grand Cape Mount County, Compound-Three Market in Grand Bassa and the Geeken Market in Grand Kru County.
The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), through its Smallholders Agriculture Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC) project on December 24 signed and award the contracts to the companies for the construction and rehabilitation of several infrastructures aimed at boosting agriculture productivity among local farmers and increasing income generation.
The contractors will also renovate the Kakata Market Building (Margibi County), Pleebo Market (Maryland County) and also renovate and expand the Kaweaken Market and the Kaweaken Technology Training Center (River Gee) and the Philadelphia Technology Transfer Center Maryland County.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held at the MOA Program Management Unit (PMU) annex in Fendell, Dr. Flomo noted that the government, under the leadership of President George M. Weah is under huge pressure to deliver to the Liberian people, and as such, firms that have been entrusted to implement government's projects should live up to the expectations.
He further stated that it was now time to change the perceptions that the MOA receives lots of money but does nothing to improve the agricultural sector and impact the lives of ordinary Liberians; adding that these perceptions were somehow based on the poor implementation of projects over the years.
"We want to make sure that we change the story around that there is a lot of money coming to the agriculture sector, but there is no impact. As of 2019, we expect that all of us are committed to the projects and make sure that these projects are executed according the plan," he averred.
He then urged the MOA staff to inform the citizens that these projects belong the government; something he acknowledged is not often done.
Earlier giving the overview, the Coordinator of the MOA/SAPEC project, William K.C. Kawalawu, Sr. explained that the project is geared toward reducing household food insecurity and rural poverty by increasing income on a sustainable basis for rural farmers with a specific focus on the youth, women and physically challenged.
Mr. Kawalawu furthered that the project which is funded by the Government of Liberia, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program/World bank and the African Development Bank is based on three components including crop production-increase in production and productivity, value addition and marketing; and capacity building and institutional strengthening.
He added that the contract, with the total monetary value of US$3,353,775.03 is being implemented under the value addition and marketing component of the SAPEC project which provide linkage from the farm to market, and at the same time provide the environment for competitive marketing.
Meanwhile the companies contracted include Afro Construction Company, Bong Infrastructure, JEAMCCO, JLN B360, JUSMART Engineers, (Liberia) Limited, Liberia Reconstruction Development Company, Perfect Trading and Construction Services and Tarhini Construction.
Speaking on behalf of the contractors, Faraday G. Moore, General Manager of Perfect Trading Construction Services thanked the Liberian Government through the MOA for giving them the opportunity to form part of the development process of Liberia and pledged their commitments to living up to the government's expectation.