River Cess Begins Second Phase of Packaging Locally Produced Rice

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CESTOS, River Cess – The coordinator of the local agriculture office in River Cess has revealed that her office has begun the second phase of the production of locally produced rice for sale.

Nora Kamokai said this time around, her office would also sell 5kg packages of rice for US$5, in addition to the 25kg bags.

“We are packaging 5kg for US$5, which is affordable for those who cannot afford to buy the 25kg bags,” Kamokai said. “The first production, we never had 5kg, but we tried it and it works; so we are producing more.”

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A 5kg package of rice, sold for US$5. Photo: Eric Doue

 

River Cess, unlike counties like Nimba, Bong, and Lofa, is not known for producing huge quantities of agricultural produce, especially rice. Therefore, there is little infrastructure within the county to support Kamokai’s activities.

The rice is dried in River Cess and then taken to Bong in Central Liberia for processing, a process that Kamokai has described as “challenging.”

“We are now drying the seed rice here to be taken to Totota for milling,” Kamokai said. “This is really challenging, but we don’t have milling machines here.”

There is much demand in the county for the rice and Kamokai said she has run out of stock and still has many customers requesting for it.

“Ever since the first 50 bags got finished, people have been asking me for more, especially the 5kg package,” she said. “Even people with the sugar sickness [diabetes] are calling for more.”

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Nora Kamokai shows off one of her 5kg packages of rice. Photo: Eric Doue

 

Several local farmers in the county have pledged their support to Kamokai’s project because of the pride in seeing their own produce on the market.

“We are happy because they buy our own rice from us, they put it in bags, then we see it in the market,” said Sampson Toby, the town chief of Gbloseo Town. “We got more farms in the district this year because people want to see their own rice on the market.”

“A group of farmers in Central River Cess and Monweh Districts have organized themselves into community based organizations in support of the project,” Kamokai told the Bush Chicken. “They are called ‘In God We Trust Agriculture Women Group.'”

“The Monweh group is involved with rice farming, while the Central River Cess group is into vegetables,” Kamokai added.

In January this year, Kamokai produced about 50 bags of the rice. It was reportedly the first time this had ever been done in River Cess. She noted she could do more with more support from local farmers and the government.

Featured photo by Eric Doue

Eric Doue

Eric Opa Doue is a co-founder of Echo Radio Station, which does a series of programs in Bassa, Kru, and simple Liberian English. Under his leadership, Echo Radio was selected as one of the Moody Radio global partners for training opportunities in 2013 and 2014. Eric was one of a handful of reporters who received training from Internews in 2015 on humanitarian reporting during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He holds a diploma in Journalism, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

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