The lead campaigner of Agro Tech Liberia, Mr. Jonathan S. Stewart, sounding a serious caveat, has emphasized that “we strongly believe that we are at a crucial time with our national food security, a time of emergency that requires everyone taking action to avoid this creeping hunger pandemic”.
Mr. Stewart noted that the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) has captured Liberia as one of the 27 countries identified as being on the frontline of the impending hunger pandemic which means, “we have to strengthen our food production system by increasing local production especially home farming that improves household nutrition”.
The local youth agriculture organization on Saturday, August 1, 2020 embarked on seeds and seedling distribution in Paynesville, Montserrado County as part of it emergency food security initiative.
Stewart told reporters at the distribution sites that this is his organization’s way of encouraging Liberians to go back to the soil and grow what we eat especially in our urban homes.
The organization distributed seedlings of collard grain, eggplant and seeds of okra, cucumber, watermelon and water grain to home farmers and non-farming households and six communities.
Communities that benefited from the initiative include Coca-Cola factory, Fendell community, Bernard Farm, Duport Road, Pipeline community and ELWA Community; while a total of 100 persons benefited from the first batch of free seedlings distribution carried out by the organization.
He disclosed that in the coming weeks there will be additional seedlings of pepper, cabbage, tomatoes and eggplant to be distributed to home farmers and non-farming households in Montserrado County.
Stewart calls on the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture to support such initiative as it has the potential to inspire the whole nation in producing its own food.
He urges the ministry to empower youth who are striving to promote zero hunger in Liberia by exposing them to opportunities that can enhance their food security initiatives.
“I want to thank all those who helped in making the project a success”, adding, “many thanks to Mr. Isaac Vah Tukpah of the Sustainable Development International who provided some financial support and to my many young agriculture professionals who worked so hard to have these seedlings available for our communities today”. Stewart maintained.
Also speaking to reporters, Neresha Mylemon, a professional volunteer with the organization, commended the institution for giving young agriculture’s students and graduates the opportunity to practice their profession through the seedling productions initiative.
Ms. Mylemon disclosed that through Agro Tech Liberia, she has been able to acquire more training and practical skills in climate smart agriculture and agribusiness management.
She also called on organizations and government agencies interested in making Liberia food secure to see Agro Tech Liberia as a vehicle that can drive youth involvement and participation in the achievement of zero hunger in Liberia. She is a graduate of the Agriculture College at the University of Liberia.
Agro Tech Liberia is a youth agricultural and environmental organization working with youth on food security issues and environmental consciousness in Liberia. It serves as a platform where youth and agriculture’s students and graduates are mentor in practical agriculture and coach in agribusiness development skills.
The organization’s mission is to make Liberia food self-sufficient through the direct participation of youth as stakeholders in the national food systems.
The organization under its emergency food security initiative has conducted two online trainings on home farming/backyard gardening and Vegetable production in May and June of this year as a way to enhance food security during this covid-19 disruptions.
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