Local NGO wants Weah’s government to empower women and youth in Liberia’s agriculture sector
The Growing Seed Foundation Liberia (GSFL), a not-for-profit institution, has called on the Liberian government to develop an empowerment scheme for youth and women’s development in the agriculture sector.
The GSFL which is involved in the development of youth and women in Liberia’s agriculture sector wants the government of President George M. Weah develops programs that will help increase women access to land and cash for agricultural production.
“Women are key players in agricultural production in Liberia. They are 53% percent of the agricultural labor force, responsible for 60 percent of agricultural production. [Therefore] improving women’s access to land, credit, inputs, and extension services will contribute to rural growth in Liberia’s agriculture sector,” GSFL explained.
According to the GSFL, traditional structure is restricting women from partaking in developmental opportunities despite attempts in legislative and public policies to ensure women’s rights at a national level.
The group also wants the Government of Liberia strengthens the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to mainstream gender and youth concerns in policies and programs.
The organization wants the George M. Weah-led government to ensure that women and youth have equal access to land, water resources, credit, and other support services.
Additionally, the GSFL has recommended key areas for agricultural growth in rural communities. According to the GSFL, the encouragement of school feeding program that mandates locally grown foods will create a market for rural farmers and improve the nutrition and health status of children.
Also, the foundation believes that the promotion of an institutional and financial environment that lessens risks to families of smallholder farmers including options for farm-system diversification and off-farm rural employment would increase agricultural production among rural farmers. Last, the group has recommended effective systems for the sharing of improved technologies to farmers in rural communities.