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AEL empowers local famers, provides farming equipment valued at 56,000USD

John Kumeh /Maximilian Kasseh,Jr.
One of the farming machines
One of the farming machines

MARGIBI COUNTY,LIBERIA-A local non-governmental faith based organization, Association of Evangelicals of Liberia ( AEL), has turned  over several farming equipment to local farmers  in Gibi District ,Margibi County, under Jersey Project.

Farming equipment turned over to the local farmers include, rice mills and thrashers and its accessories, as well as four storage facilities (buildings) and threshers respectively.

The value of the pieces of equipment and the facilities is put at fifty-six-thousand-four-hundred United States Dollars (US$56,400).

The gesture is part of the institution’s ongoing Liberia Ebola recovery project, which focuses on promoting access to resources for the most vulnerable.

Presenting the facilities, AEL’s Project Supervisor in Margibi County Bobby B. Konata said:” The recent dedication is in continuation of the previous dedication of some of the storage facilities and rice milling machines made by the organization.”

He indicated that the project focuses on what he calls ‘value addition,’ stating that Liberians have had this kind of farm in the Country, where for so long farmers have very small farms and after harvest is done, it’s just big enough to feed the family not even for the next farming season.

Mr. Konata said the AEL has thought to encourage farmers to have bigger farms.

The AEL Project supervisor said that in order to have bigger farms, the farmers have to take one step further from just the cutlasses and hoes, by using some machines to develop the swamp and thereafter add value.

Konata said that with the provision of the machines to the farmers, it will help the government in promoting agriculture in the Country.

He said that there are four-hundred farmers across the Gibi and Kakata Health Districts that are benefiting from the project.

The AEL Project supervisor indicated that AEL is working in 16 different communities within the two districts and each community has 25 persons per group.

He asserted that lots of these farmers are being trained in operating and maintaining the machines, adding that even though it is quite strange, they will have to get use to it.

He said that the project is in its third year and hopefully by 2020 AEL will be pulling out and the project will be managed by the Liberian Government, stating, “That is why I am happy today that we can have local authority from the County.

For her part, the County Agriculture Coordinator in Margibi, E. Musu Tuah Younn, urged the farmers, especially the women, to take the pieces of equipment as their personal properties.

Madam Younn promised to retrieve the pieces of equipment as per the Memorandum of Understanding if the beneficiaries cannot make proper use of those machines.

The Agriculture Ministry Margibi County Coordinator   thanked AEL for the initiative and assured that her office will play a major role in maintaining the equipment.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the project have lauded AEL for the provision of equipment and storage facilities, and promised to have them used for the intended purpose and properly maintained.

The project is being funded by Jersey through Tearfund, a UK-based Christian Organization, partnering with the Association of Evangelicals Liberia.


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