By Throble Kaffa Suah, Freelance Journalist |
Grand Cape Mount County in western Liberia has for the first time launched cooperative for smallholder farmers in 45 years.
Such programme was initiated here by Israeli company called ARIMICO (Agriculture and Mining Company) in 1973 during President William Richard Tolbert’s regime.
Dwuamatombo Village Community Multipurpose Cooperative (DVC-MPC) was given birth Tuesday, 27 November 2018, in Madina Town, Madina Township, Garwula District in Grand Cape Mount County.
Though stakeholders (policy-makers-like Senators, Representatives, Cabinet Ministers, Land Authorities and local officials) invited as well as that of United Nations Agencies including World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank among others, were conspicuously absence but that did not dented the spirit of the locals.
As the ceremony attracted chiefs, elders and ordinary people from all walks of life in the county turning out in their numbers demonstrating commitment and ownership of the process to the fact it belong to them.
Laying the cooperative agenda, Alfred Quayjandii, Interim Programme Manager, urged Liberians to place more emphasizes on agriculture because economy justice is food security which is prudent for every human being.
He indicated that the acceleration food production to fight hunger and promote food security for sustainable growth and development is to demonstrate to government and partners that smallholder farmers in Grand Cape Mount have group themselves into a cooperative.
Quayjandii said in time past and now still Liberian economy has been relying on investors because it is engulf with numerous challenges in importation to the extent that the President had to negotiate with business people when Liberians have the ability to plant and grow food.
He went further that because of the foregoing Dwuamatombo Village has mobilized communities’ smallholder farmers in rice, cassava, plantain, potatoes, eddoes, cocoa, coffee, palm and vegetable production and is working with them how to carry out awareness to make use of the soil.
Dwuamatombo’s Programme Manager noted that for this reason the time has come for Liberians to gradual from communal rudiment which no longer exist and shift to mechanize or technological farming which has become order of the day.
For instance, “Our attention was drawn to what happening in Nimba, Bong and Lofa Counties. There our compatriots have engaged the sector. If those Liberians can do same, while not Cape Mountaineers?. Therefore, we have taking self-initiative as everything not politics,” Quayjandii observed.
Dwuamatombo Village Community Multipurpose Cooperative (DVC-MPC) is made-up rural dwellers or Cape Mountaineers who belief agriculture is their way of life. Organizers are from villages and towns in Madina Township, Garwula District and elsewhere in Grand Cape Mount.
Deputizing for absentee Agriculture Minister Mogana Flomo was Madam Famatta Kamara, County Agriculture Coordinator (CAC) in Grand Cape Mount County.
She admonished Cape Mountaineers to take full ownership and advantage of their process because no human being can live or survive without food.
She said the formation of cooperative for smallholder farmers to engage into food (rice, cocoa, coffee, palm oil and vegetable) production, mainly in mechanize farming instead of the old (manual) system is the faster means of sustaining food security nowadays.
Madina Town Chief, Folley Sherman, showered praises to those to fellow villagers and town people who proffered the idea to form a cooperative something he stated has not happen in 45 years now.
“When AGRIMICO came with this we used to feed ourselves because during those days farmers were planting and growing crops to the extent that many people did not have time for imported or frozen food compared to now,” Chief stated.
Dwuamatombo meaning “years of work” and is a word use or from the Gola speaking language in Liberia.