Local agro-tech advocacy group completes ICT in agriculture forum in Nimba County
AgroTech –Liberia a group advocating for technology integration in Liberia’s agriculture sector has completed a two-day forum on “Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Innovation in Liberia Agriculture Sector”.
The event held at the Liberia International Christian College (LICC) in Gompa, Nimba County was characterized by remarks, site visitation, and presentations on topics including agriculture machinery technology, contributions of ICT to agriculture development, agriculture e-marketing, and development of ICT tools for agri-extension workers and students.
Jonathan Stewart, Executive Director of AgroTech- Liberia, says that integrating technology with agriculture will increase youth involvement in the sector and influence production and marketing of agricultural products.
“Technology can do a lot for our sector [agriculture] but many are not aware of the benefits that come with integrating technology with agriculture. So we have taken on this initiative to inform the youth and policymakers that technology inclusion can bridge the communication gap, marketing gap, extension gap, and production gap in Liberia’s agriculture sector,” he says.
He says the forum objective was to inform youth of Nimba County about the role they can take on in reducing the high unemployment rate in the country and in ensuring food availability in the near future.
Also, George K. Matiah, District Agriculture Officer (DAO) in Nimba County says that youth and technology inclusion in Liberia’s agriculture sector would change the course of the sector which has a low youth population.
He encouraged young farmers and students attending the forum to specialize in one of the many fields in the country’s agriculture sector.
He says crop production, livestock, and fisheries are areas if specialized will reduce youth unemployment and set a new path for coming generations.
Also, J. Josephus Tigbah one of the participants commended the organizing body for the forum. He says that information shared with the young people of Nimba County and neighboring counties has changed his perception about agriculture.
“This program has impacted me directly because it has given me a better approach to take in the agriculture sector especially when it comes to involving ICT innovation in the agriculture sector,” he says.
Another participant, Regina K. Bruh urged fellow participants to act on the information they have received from AgroTech-Liberia.
“I have learned a lot and I pray that we will put this knowledge into use. One of the messages that I am carrying the young people in my community is how we can use social media to market our products. This I found interesting because most of us only use Facebook to chat with friends,” she says.