(Melekie, Thursday, June 5, 2020): - Liberia's Minister of Agriculture, Jeanine Milly Cooper, on Thursday, launched the United States Agency for Development's (USAID) funded Seeds Voucher Fair in the central region town of Melekie in Bong County some 154 km north of the Liberian Capital Monrovia.She was accompanied by two of her three deputies—Deputy Minister for Regional Development, Research and Extension, George Forpoh, who has oversight over the various regions of the country and the Deputy Minister for Planning, Robert Fagans, who exercises supervision over the MoA’s programs and multilateral partners.
The FEED-LADA's fair is in support of the Government of Liberia's COVID-19 Food Security and Early Economic Recovery Response for Smallholder Rice Farmers. Fifty-eight tonnes of processed rice seeds will be given out to 1,500 farmers in three of Liberia's fifteen counties: Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties through voucher issuance system by a certified agro inputs dealer.
Minister Cooper lauded USAID for its flagship project FEED THE FUTURE LIBERIA AGRIBUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY (LADA) for the innovation in assisting farmers who have been struggling for rice seeds ahead of the planting season.
“We want you to have more seeds to plant more. The Ministry of Agriculture is working hard to ensure that more seeds and tools are given you. With this, we have more food for Liberia”, Minister Cooper told the farmers amidst cheers and jubilations from the farmers. The farmers later presented her, through the County Agriculture Coordinator and Deputy Minister Forpoh, a traditional token of white kola nuts which signifies hearty welcome and purity from their hearts towards her.
Deputy Minister Forpoh admonished farmers to always engage in knowledge sharing with each in different localities. “We want you to also share information and knowledge with other farmers in nearby counties”