If not the first, but for once Liberia is expected to have a seed bank constructed in Salayea District, Lofa County.
The seed bank could see a massive improvement in the traditional agriculture farming system in Liberia thereby contributing to the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Even though the seed bank will be constructed in Sucromu in Salayea District, the initiative when completed will further increase seed production to support farmers in two of the project districts and the entire country.
This will reduce difficulty faced by farmers in accessing seeds to increase production.
The various facilities including the seed bank and the two demonstration pilot projects will be built and developed by a local NGO called Liberia Endangered Species Association (LESA).
According to the project management team, one demonstration pilot project will be in Zorzor District (Dorzonalor and Bomi Hill towns) and in Salayea (Sucromu and Kpaiyea towns).
The project is funded by the GEF-UNDP-Small Grants Programme through the South-South Cooperation between Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone under Operation Phase 6 (OP6).
The initiative is held under the project titled “Promoting Traditional Agro-Ecological Farming Systems in North-Western Liberia”.
LESA Executive Director, Mr. John F. Kannah told environmental reporters that the seed bank project is intended to empower local farmers by having access to seeds to boost their farming activities and promote traditional Agroecological practices as well as biodiversity conservation.
According to him, about 250 farmers from the project districts of Zorzor and Salayea will directly benefit from the seed banks project while more than 2,500 others will be indirectly impacted by the project.
Mr. Kannah further urged residents in the project communities to take the activities seriously and said useful farming seeds will be supplied to farmers across Liberia to enable them to contribute to food security.
Citizens of Zorzor and Salayea Districts, however, commended LESA for the initiative and pledged their unflinching support to the realization of the project. They expressed happiness that the project will further ease the difficulty encountered to get seeds during their planting season.
For his part, the Project Coordinator for the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) Project at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Christopher B. Kabah admonished Liberian farmers, especially those in Lofa County to take advantage of evolving technologies and any other method to improve agricultural production in Liberia.
Kabah said using new methods in farming such as the preservation of seeds will enhance production.
What are project objectives?
LESA Executive Director Mr. John Kannah assured residents of the project communities that the project will promote side by side both traditional agro-ecological farming systems and farming technology to ensure best practices in Liberia’s agriculture sector, such as food crops in the face of growing industrial agricultural practices.
The significance of the project is to encourage household participation in the development of seed banks in zorzor and Salayea districts.
Two demonstration sites in the two districts will be developed to introduce varieties of seeds for onward distribution among farmers and establish a community ecological governance council in the project community to ensure effectiveness and productivity.
Kannah added that the project will encourage seeds festival programs each year, introduce research groups and produce seed maps for communities in the area to easily locate seeds for planting.