Jubilant farmers welcome GOL/MOA support in isolated Nimba town

(Nyao, Sacleapea, March 17, 2021): “Since Nimba became a county in Liberia, this is our first time for any Government agency or any presidential administration to come here to our village Nyao and provide support to us the farmers. They just used to pass and go to other places. We can’t believe our eyes and we say Thank You President George Weah and the Ministry of Agriculture for making this history”.

These were the words Felton Jones Gblakeh, Development Chairman of the town and its surrounding villages forming Whee Gbahye Administrative District with the Saclepea area, when the Government of Liberia, through the MoA, launched its vegetable seeds and agricultural tools support to 1,500 farmers in Nimba County on Wednesday. 

Nyao is situated 312 km north of the Liberian capital, Monrovia and lies at the outskirts of central Nimba commercial town of Saclepea. Lowland rice farming activities are predominant in Saclepea, the hilly town and also surrounded with swamps.

More than 60 farmers, predominantly women as well as pupils, trekked from nearby villages to line up the entrance of Nyao Town to welcome the MoA.
Joyously, they performed colourful traditional welcome rituals and chanted folksongs as the MoA convoy slowly drove through. Minister Jeanine Milly Cooper was represented by a high level MOA team.

Assistant Minister Ernest Jenkins Clarke, who chairs the Ministry’s COVID-19 Response to Framers headed the MoA’s delegation which comprised the Director of the Program Management Unit, Ansu Sekou Konneh; the Chief Technical Adviser, Sylvester Taylor and Emmanuel Vah, Project Coordinator. The Wednesday’s launch targets 7,500 farmers in all districts in Nimba County starting with 1, 500 vegetable farmers.

They were provided assorted vegetable seeds, watering cans, shovels, cutlasses, fertilizers and safety wears. Already, 2000 cassava farmers, 2000 upland farmers and 2000 lowland farmers in the county have been registered through the County Agriculture Coordinator. They will be provided farming inputs, tools and rice seeds. Fifteen tractors -power tillers [tractors] have been purchased and are expected in the country by next month Funding for the intervention was sourced from the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the MOA’s Tree Crops Extension Projects (TCEP) to support the Government of Liberia’s COVID-19 Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihood Plan which the MOA developed in April.

Government of Liberia’s Financing Agreements with IFAD, ratified by the National Legislature, restrict IFAD TCEP’s support to only Lofa and Nimba Counties.
IFAD funds MOA’s Tree Crops Extension Projects which focus on support to cocoa farmers and rehabilitating cocoa plantations and farms through farming cooperatives in Lofa and Nimba counties.