Local farmers vetted to own tricycles

Local farmers vetted to own tricycles
Local farmers vetted to own tricycles

Africa-Press – Liberia. Under the MoA’s STAR-P and RETRAP projects, local farmers have been encouraged to increase productivity and commercialization, but transporting their farm yields have been a major challenge.
Local farmers in Lofa County are participating in an application process to be vetted for the opportunity to own tricycles provided by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to ease the movement of farm yields from production sites to markets.

During a tour in Lofa, several farmers hailed MoA’s intervention through the World Bank-approved Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P) and Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP).

ATAR-P and RETRAP support rice, oil palm, and horticulture (growing plants) value chains to encourage increased agricultural productivity and commercialization in selected counties.

However, some farmers, especially those in remote places where transportation remains a challenge, have lamented that even as their production increases, they still face transportation problems.

To address this challenge, which has caused losses for some farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture, through the RETRAP project, is said to have sent about 68 tricycles to Voinjama, Lofa County.

Mr. D. Levi Kpenkpan, STAR-P Focal Person for Lofa County, told journalists that the Ministry sent the 68 tricycles there to help local farmers transport their produce from their place of production to the market.

After going through a vetting process, Mr. Kpenkpan explained that farmers who are qualified will pay 40 percent of the procurement price, which is about US$800.00, to a designated bank for a tricycle and then take ownership of it.

In an interview this week, Mr. Kpenkpan said the application process is ongoing.

“Right now, the process is ongoing. You know we just made the announcement on the media and then farmers are coming to do their applications,” said Mr. Kpenkpan.

Once the application process ends, Mr. Kpenkpan said applicants’ information will be sent to Monrovia for vetting to know who is qualified to secure some of the tricycles intended to ease the movement of their farm yields from production sites to markets.

Following the vetting process, he said the names of the qualified farmers will be sent back to Lofa County, where successful applicants will receive their tricycles upon the payment of the required 40 percent of the procurement price.

Once farmers pay the 40 percent, Mr. Kpenkpan said they will own the tricycles and be responsible for servicing them through funds they generate from transporting goods.

He said they are looking at farming groups to help farmers in this process.

He said that the lack of transportation has most often led to farmers’ goods spoiling and causing them losses.

“That’s the reason why the Ministry thought it wise to come in this kind of manner so that can be able to assist the farmers, how to transport their goods from the production site to the market,” said Mr. Kpenkpan.

Under the MoA’s STAR-P and RETRAP projects, Mr. Kpenkpan said they encourage farmers to increase productivity and commercialization.

“We encourage them to [engage in] high production, and also we encourage them to commercialize so that they can be able to improve their livelihood,” he said.

In Lofa alone, he said about 21 farmers have won grants from the bank, and 65 others are being supplied with direct imports (fertilizers, cutlasses, hooks, and rain boots, among other things).

For More News And Analysis About Liberia Follow Africa-Press


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here