By Patrick Stephen Tokpah

Suakoko District, Bong County-The Central Agriculture Research Institute   (CARI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture has kicked off a 5-day training of trainers (ToT) workshop on principles and guidelines for the establishment of seed bank to produce and multiply foundation and certified seeds -SADFONS in Suakoko District#5, Bong County.

Seeds are basic necessary inputs in crop production. To a very large extent, seeds determine the effectiveness of all other inputs such as fertilizers, agronomic practices, agrochemicals, etc.

Given the overview of the 5 days of training, the Seed Specialist at CARI / Project Focal Person of the Smallholder Agriculture Development for Food and Nutrition Security (SADFONS), Jobson A. Momo said the workshop intent is to build the technical capacity of the participants in the establishment of the garden (seed production, seed inspection, and post-harvest management practices) that will lead to standard and quality seed production in Liberia.

Mr. Momo told the participants that the government of Liberia has set a seed system that will help improve the agriculture sector of the Country, noting that building their capacity in the production protocol of rice, vegetable, and cassava is very important.

The CARI Seed Specialist/ Project Focal Person of SADFONS said the training will enable participants to learn new techniques in properly securing quality seeds to improve the agriculture sector.

He called on the participants to attach a lot of seriousness to the training in other to perfectly perform in their assigned area in the agriculture sector of the Country.

The Seed Specialist said the need for serious attention to be placed on the production of quality seeds cannot be over-emphasized.

Moreover, Mr. Momo revealed at the end of the training participants will have acquired useful life skills that will make them better farmers and technicians in the County.

For his part, AfricaRice Country Representative Dr. Inousa Arkintayo told the participants that the training is solely focused on the improvement of the country’s stable food rice, cassava and vegetable seed production.

The AfricaRice Country Representative said in Liberia, the availability of quality seeds remains a problematic issue because of the lack of adequate knowledge of producers and extension field staff in good seed production, processing, and handling practices.

Although improved varieties are available in the country, their production and maintenance are still very weak, maintaining that this is one of the reasons why the country continues to import huge quantities of rice from abroad costing over Million dollars every year.

Dr. Arkintayo vowed that they as an entity are committed to buttressing the efforts of the Liberian government through the Ministry of Agriculture to make Liberia a surplus food environment.

He cautioned the participants to get more involved in research activity to find an amicable solution to Liberia’s low food production most especially rice.

Participants of the five days workshop will be trained in seed system and production protocol, cassava production for food and nutrition security, the production and management of seed, vegetable production for food and nutrition security, and rice production for food and nutrition security.

They will also understand the best agronomic practices in the establishment of seed gardens/banks for seed production in rice, vegetable, and cassava and the method of cassava propagation for rapid multiplication for the establishment of seed banks for seed production and safe handling of organic fertilizers among others.

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