Monrovia – The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture and a private Ghanaian Company, Abanga and Grace (A&G) Agro-Mechanical Industries has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote mechanized rice farming in the country.
The MOU is also geared towards ensuring food security, increase domestic rice production as well as create employment opportunities for farmers.
Cllr. Sayma Cyrenius Cephus, Deputy Agriculture Minister for Regional Development, Research and Extension signed on behalf of the Liberian Government while the Chief Executive officer and president of A&G Agro-Mechanical Industries,
The signing ceremony took place at a local resort in Monrovia on Sunday, September 9, 2018.
A&G Agro is a grass-roots cost-effective one-stop comprehensive farming/agriculture business solutions provider.
The company envisions a world or society of sustainable growth, progressive development and economic self-sufficiency for every citizenry.
The president of the company, Thomas Abanga his company mission is to empower the agricultural community to eradicate hunger and poverty by assisting agriculturalist and private farmers in developing their long-term economic prosperity and self-sufficiency through cost-effective tractors, implements and modern designed farming techniques training.
He noted that Liberia is not different from Ghana, saying, “Everything A&G Agro Company is doing in Ghana, same will be duplicated in Liberia,” he stressed.
A&G Agro is collaborating with Universities in Ghana to provide technical training for students in the agriculture sector. Abanga, however, responding to FrontPage Africa inquiry disclosed that the company will collaborate as well technical Universities and institutions in the country to provide practical training to students.
Mr. Abanga believes that Liberians need to start producing their own rice and minimize the consumption of imported rice.
Cllr. Sayma Cyrenius Cephus, Deputy Agriculture Minister for Regional Development, Research and Extension who signed the MOU for Liberian commended the delegation on behalf of President George Weah for such partnership which he says will bring more relief to farmers in the country.
According to him, under the MOU the government of Liberia will provide a total of ten thousand acres of land, “We will start with one thousand as a pillar project.”
The pillar project, he said, will also become the bid to attract other investments that people will see and during that exercises, it will be an outburst scheme.
“One of the key reasons is that other institutions came here and said they wanted to do the same thing, but for us this time around as a pan African initiative, we want to start up with the project which will last for 25 years but for now we are going to start with a pillar project and after that then we will go directly into the actual year,” he said.
Cllr. Cephus said the A and G Agro-mechanical industries has already assembled his equipment to jump-start the project. He said under the agreement, the chief executive officer of the company will provide tractors and other equipment to enable him to start the pillar project, provide capacity building for farmers where they will be trained to use most of the equipment.
“Secondly, the rice will be produced mainly for consumption purposes at the same time the surplus will be sold out to other African countries. So, we do intend to just produce in Liberia, but we also intend to distribute it on the market. Our goal is to create a lot of job opportunity for many people in rural Liberia because the outburst scheme will put money in the hands of people. He disclosed that the MOU will allow the company to produce the rice and also train farmers, thereafter the government will be the off-takers.