Women praise LAC 23 rice varieties
Several women farmers in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, and Maryland Counties in Liberia say they are happy with the breed of high-yielding, short-cycled, disease-resistant, and tasty rice variety which they love and will not let go.
The improved upland rice variety known as LAC 23 White was introduced to Liberian farmers by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and partners who are encouraging farmers to use the new species.
With perspiration on her forehead and a bunch of panicles in her right hand, a smiling Beatrice Suah of Nimba County said she planted nearly three acres of land with the LAC 23 White variety. “FAO, Agriculture Relief Services, and the Ministry people gave us this rice and showed us how to plant it. At first I was not sure but when it started growing fast, I knew the rice was good. I mixed the rice farm with other crops and it came out fine.”
Gornlon Karnuah is a widow with eight mouths to feed: “This rice is good, has big panicles, tastes nice, and swells in the pot. The rice is good for killing hunger. After harvest, we will eat and keep some and sell part of it.” Gorlon lamented the hunger period of last year “when life was hard.”
Marthaline Mahn, 38, also of Nimba County has five children including one who is physically challenged. She lauded everybody “for bringing this rice to us and convincing us to take it. Yes, the rice I am cooking right now and the one we are beating are from the farm.” She expressed satisfaction over the quality of the seed rice, adding “I am confident that I will not go out of food like last year as you can see for yourself.”
In March 2013, MoA, FAO, and partners launched the project “Improved food security and nutrition for Ivorian refugees and host families in Liberia”, for the production of rice and vegetables, with the rice component for 2,500 farmers and 1,500 vegetable growers in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, and Maryland Counties. The overall objective is to improve the food and nutrition situation in the three counties, particularly for women and children.