On Thursday, the 19 of May, 2022 was a colourful and exciting moment for farmers residing in Yarmein, Nimba County, when a local NGO, the Agriculture Relief Service (ARS), by ArcelorMittal Liberia launched its livelihood project for local farmers, under the Biodiversity and Conservation Agriculture Program.
The program which was held in Yarmein administrative district was being the host of ArcelorMittal iron ore mines, the company as one of its social responsibilities this year provided more than US$116,000.00 in support of ARS program aimed at helping local farmers in the district.
Receiving the amount, the head of ARS, Luogon Lah who could not withhold his joy praised the management of AML for the level of support being provided to the people of the county, and further noted that with this level of support from AML, farmers in the district will be provided crop seeding, farmers tools and quality training.
The Biodiversity and Conservation Program launched last week in Yekepa was the six cycle succession, with ArcelorMittal Liberia’s continuous support. According to Lah, the project is aimed at reducing deforestation by prioritizing low land cultivation and animal farming and promoting reforestation that takes into consideration the planting of tree varieties.
“We are working with14 communities and 445 farmers in Yarmein,and under our biodiversity program, we want to reduce ten percent of damage to the forest in twelve months. We want to also help our farmers raise livestock to replace the consumption of wildlife,”Lah said.
Last week’s official launch was performed by Nimba’s Assistant Superintendent for development, Raily Myers.
In remarks, Hon. Myers commended AML for the support to the agriculture sector in communities surrounding its operational site, noting that the help to sustain residents in the absence of hunting, and shifting cultivation.
He also commended ARS and its Executive Director for exhibiting honesty and sincerity in expending funding support provided by AML, and not diverting it to personal use.
Welcoming AML’s Chief Operating Officer, Adriaan Strydom during the ceremony, was a traditional display of songs and dances, by the people of Yarmein.
In a brief remark, Strydom said he was delighted that the agriculture project was embraced by the communities and was also pleased that the company and the people of its communities of impact can work together.
He encouraged the communities to always reach out to AML to peacefully handle issues that may arise in the future.
For his part, AML Environmental Department head, Hendrik Kuit, assured the farmers that the support to biodiversity and livelihood programs in the affected communities is a long-term commitment by AML.