By Patrick Stephen Tokpah
BONG-The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and partners have dedicated a service center for the rehabilitated and re-equipped mechanization at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko District#5, Bong County.
The Mechanization Service Center has been equipped with different machines and equipment intended to serve as the center for the repair of agriculture equipment in Bong County.
Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony, Agriculture Minister Jeanine M. Cooper, emphasized the importance of mechanization in modern agriculture, stating that rehabilitating the mechanization service center is a crucial step towards achieving food security in Liberia, especially in the rural areas where agriculture is people’s livelihood in particular and the backbone of the economy in general.
She further described the opening of the center over the weekend as a major boost for Liberian farmers who are usually challenged with the huge cost of repairing their farming equipment when they encounter mechanical faults.
Minister Cooper said most of the equipment that has been provided by the MOA to farmers has ended up as scraps due to a lack of proper service centers and spare parts to get them running again.
The Agriculture Minister believes that with the rehabilitation and re-equipment of the CARI Mechanization Center farmers will now have access to quality machine repair services in the County.
The Liberia Agriculture Minister further commended the efforts of CARI and its partners in making the rehabilitation of the center a reality, adding that the center will significantly improve farmers’ productivity and reduce the cost of production.
“This center is meant for repairing agricultural equipment to enhance farming practices in all regions of Liberia,” she noted.
For his part, CARI Director General Dr. Victor Sumo praised the MOA for the rehabilitation and re-equipment of the center.
Dr. Sumo said the administration of CARI will ensure that the center is given the necessary attention in the area of maintenance and farmers’ support.
The rehabilitation and re-equipment of the CARI Mechanization Center were executed under the MOA Smallholder Agriculture Development for Food and Nutrition Security (SADFONS) project in the County.
The ceremony was attended by Africa Rice County Representative Dr. Akintayo Inussa and World Bank Senior Agriculture Economist Dr. Adetunji Oredipe, who expressed their satisfaction with the center’s rehabilitation and emphasized the importance of sustainable agriculture development in Liberia.
The farmers who attended the ceremony expressed their gratitude and optimism for the centermost of their farming activities.
The newly rehabilitated mechanization service center will undoubtedly play a significant role in enhancing agricultural productivity in Liberia, leading to improved food security and economic development.
Mechanization of agriculture is an essential input in modern agriculture. It enhances productivity, besides reducing human drudgery and the cost of cultivation.
Mechanization also helps in improving the utilization efficiency of other inputs, the safety, and comfort of the agricultural worker, and improvements in the quality and value addition of the produce.
Efficient machinery helps in increasing production and productivity, besides enabling the farmers to raise a second crop or multi-crop making Indian agriculture attractive and a way of life by becoming commercial instead of subsistence.
Increased production will require more use of agricultural inputs and the protection of crops from various stresses.