By: David Nuakolo Flomo Jr
An agriculture organization under the banner “Men-Nina Farmers Inc”. has concluded cycle one of its Village Saving Loan Program in Bellemue Town, Panta District number four, Bong County.
The twelve months women economic empowerment program under Men-Nina Farmers Inc., captured about twenty-five (25) women and five (5) men from different towns and villages across Panta district.
During the one-year period, members of the group were able to deposit an affordable amount of Liberian Dollars weekly and were cautioned to take loan with little interest in order to enable them financially to cater to their domestic obligations.
Speaking at the program, Micheal Pewu, the Chief Executive Oficer of the farming cooperative said the initiative is meant to curtail poverty rate in rural Liberia and reduce dependence on leaders or national government.
Pewu used the medium to call on women of both Panta and Zota districts to take advantage of the life changing program; with a plan to launch phase two of the Loan Program in Palaquelleh town.
Within the one-year period, the organization in collaboration with the women saved Five Hundred Thirty-Seven Thousand Six Hundred Liberian Dollars (5, 37600) including $80,000LD grant from UN-WOMEN as part of support to strengthening their activities.
Guest speaking at the occasion, Dr. Emmanuel King Urey Yarkpawolo praised the management of Men-Nina Inc. for the initiative; citing that it is a total relief to farmers in that part of Liberia with an initial contribution of 7,500LD.
Dr. Urey -Yarkpawolo told the gathering that he foresees a better and improved district#4 where women will not whole heatedly depend on men but rather major contributors in the next five years if the program continues.
As a man who believes in life changing program, Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo at the occasion pledged his membership to the group; thereby committing himself to working closely with the CEO to have some donor findings through international partnership.
“I want to thank all of you who took part in the process. This is not an easy task; I don’t even know how to tell you thank you.
This is what we call Education. My friend Michael who and I were in school, and he has come to give back to his people, I think he deserves more.
For us, we don’t have the cash to give you, but we write and put documents together and we can make you get money.
They say teach the man to fish right? not give him fish because when it finishes, he will still come back to you.
So, we will work with Michael my own friend to help this group” he expressed.
He also used the medium to emphasize on his over US$ 100,000. Oil Palm processing factory that is situated between Gbarngasheaquell and Garmue.
The Oil Palm, when completed, according to him, it would get rid of old days method of Oil production in the area and will introduce his people to modern days World.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries of the program thanked Men-Nina Farmers Inc. for being a help in their lives.
The local farmers said the introduction of the loan program to them is like a new dawn in their lives; evidence by the avenue it has created for them to be independent and catering to their children’s Education instead of waiting for father’s support.
“This loan program has really helped us.
Since we joined this group, we can be putting money every week and when you are problem you go there, they will give you money and you will pay back with small interest.
We thank God for the people who brought this program to us especially Michael.
We will be part of the second phase, because this program making us to pay our children school fees, provide food, slippers and other things” they asserted.
Men-Nina is an agricultural cooperative working with local farmers in Panta district and is concentrated on three value chains to include Vegetables, Cash Crops and Village Saving Loan.
Since its established in Panta district, it has been in the business of cash cropping and is shifting to VSL.