Agriculture is one of the key issues of focus by the Liberian government and the visiting 22-man delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), leading to the consummation of a farming project for 1,000 rural women in Liberia.
The US$2.5 million project is titled: “Promoting Increased Resilience and Sustainable Income Generation in Food Security and Nutrition for Rural Women,” in which women in a select number of five counties will engage in poultry and vegetable farming to widen their income generation space as one anti-poverty model.
The project set to be implemented by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO Liberia office), is financed by the UAE government, and will be directly supervised by that nation’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
It is due to fully come to light by 2020, as FAO will begin the necessary preparations to that effect following recent official discussions.
During the symbolic launch of the project at the Jamaica Resort in Paynesville on Sunday, FAO Country Representative Mariatou Njie said: “We have observed that in Liberia, women are not engaged into high-level vegetable crops. But this project is going to target the growing of pepper, carrot, cabbage and tomatoes.”
The government of Liberia will make available five hectares and the selection of affected counties will be based on agricultural experiences and feasible conditions for said projects.
Before it gets into full swing, FAO will train would-be beneficiaries in capacity-building, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment skills to broaden their scope of understanding of standardized management of poultries and cultivation of vegetables.
Under the scheme, there will be solar panels provided by UAE as a source of power generation to basically upkeep storage facilities on those farms.
According to Sultan Al Shamsi, UAE’s Assistant Minster of Foreign Affairs for International Development, the project will offer positive results a year from now, and that his government is always willing to partner with Liberia in support of the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Moreover, Liberia’s Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel Farlo McGill, said the country was on an irrevocable path of development under President George Manneh Weah and that the relationship with the UAE is full of hope amongst Liberians.
“I noted two words during Madam Njie’s deliberation: capacity-building and empowerment. With these, I find the project being realized in a timely fashion for rural women.”