LIBERIA – A private Ghanaian firm, Abanga and Grace (A & G) Agro-Mechanical Industries and the government of Liberia have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote mechanized rice production in the country.

According to an Observer report, the collaboration seeks to boost domestic rice production, enhance food security and create employment opportunities for the Liberian citizens.

The partnership also seeks to bring relief to Liberian farmers as the firm empowers the agricultural community to eradicate hunger and poverty by assisting farmers in developing their long term economic prosperity.

A&G Agro is a grass-root cost effective one-stop comprehensive farming or agriculture business solutions provider and envisions a world or society of sustainable growth, progressive development and economic self-sufficiency for each and every citizenry.

It provides cost effective tractors, implements and modern designed farming techniques training.

As part of the agreement, the government of Liberia will provide a total of 10,000 acres of land but will start with 1,000 as a pilot project in the first year.

A & G Agro-mechanical on the other hand, will provide tractors and other farming implements and also provide capacity building for farmers to use most of the equipment.

“One of the key reasons is that other institutions came here and said they wanted to do the same thing, but for us as a government, 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 pilot project. After that, then we will go directly into the actual year of the project,” said Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, Deputy Agriculture Minister for Regional Development, Research and Extension.

The Ghanaian firm looks to increase rice production, train farmers, create jobs in rural Liberia and ensure domestic consumption and export to other African countries.

The MOU is further intended to reduce rice importation into Liberia as well as ensure that agriculture contribute more to the country’s economy.

Commenting on the matter, Mr. Abanga said commercial rice production, if realized in Liberia, will change the dynamics of agriculture, proving that the country is capable of achieving food security if it invests in the agricultural sector.