24 out of 30 students (17 females and seven males) have graduated from the Camp for Peace Agricultural Vocational Training Program in Salayea, Lofa County. The Agricultural vocational training program is one of the premier programs run by Camp for Peace Liberia. The program aims to transform and empower Liberian Youth in solving Liberia’s problem. The program was held on Friday, September 13, in Salayea Town.
Hon. Alexander S. Gargu serving as the keynote speaker of the occasion, underscored the importance of agriculture in enhancing Liberia’s social and economic development. Hon. Gargu said Liberia is endowed with a favorable agriculture environment, yet its citizens live in poverty. He, therefore, used the occasion to challenge the graduates to put the knowledge and skills they have acquired into use. He said, spell nothing but to make maximum use of the skills and aim at enhancing food security in Liberia. He described food insecurity as when the people cannot feed themselves. He stated that Liberia is still buying almost everything, including peppers, bitterboy, eddoes, and other essential food from its labor. He ascribed Liberia’s problem to the corrupt attitude of past and present government officials. He, therefore, challenged all officials in both public and private spaces in Liberia to take caution of accountability and transparency in moving Liberia development forward.
Giving an overview of the program, the Executive Director B. Abel Learwellie extends thanks to the Steelworkers Union of Canada for the invaluable support given his organization for the school. He also expressed thanks to the Healing Exchange Liberia Project headed by Lois Kunkel, the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Center for Sacred Studies of California, Ann Beckett of Canada and many others for their support towards the operation of the school. Mr. Learwellie said 289 Liberian youths have benefited from his program in different vocations since 2012, and they are currently contributing immensely towards the peace and development in their communities. He also used the occasion to outline the achievement of Camp for Peace Liberia. He said his organization presently is producing, processing, packaging, and labeling cassava product as part of his program post-training activities. He promised that other food, including rice, eddoes, and potatoes, would soon begin undergoing value-added processes in the region to boost food security.
Salayea District Commissioner Hon. Ben Gorlema remarking on the occasion expressed great delight for the enormous contribution of Camp for Peace and its partners. He also congratulated the students and urged them to put the skills acquired into use. Hon Gorlema said that agriculture is the last option for Liberia forward development and cautioned graduates and Liberians to deepen their effort in boosting Liberia agriculture sector.
The seven months of agriculture training provided skills in the following Introduction to Agriculture, vegetable production, poultry production, pig production, rice production, definition and improvement of fish farming, rubber culture, etc.