Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Agriculture Program Targets Food Security

Ministry Builds Model Farms to Improve Nation’s Production Capacities

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has strategically designed and built model farms throughout Equatorial Guinea, as part of an effort to improve food security and give farmers access to the technology and know-how that can help them improve their production capacities.

“Local farmers are able to visit technology reference centers to get first-hand instruction on how to improve their production,” said Director General of Agriculture Jose Juan Ndong Tomin a recent interview.

To carry out its Special Food Security Program, known by the Spanish acronym PESA, the department of the general cabinet of the Ministry of Agriculture, under the leadership of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, works with the National Institute of Agriculture Promotion, which focuses on cacao and coffee production. Ministry technical and financial support encourages farmers to continue producing and helps them compete internationally.

The Ministry has made the food-security program one of its main priorities. “The first step toward contributing to PESA was to improve infrastructure for farmers to be able to travel from their rural communities to Bata,” said Director Ndong. “We have further improved rural transportation, and now farmers have better capabilities.”

The West African nation also hopes to decrease its dependence on imported agriculture products by making appropriate technology available to farmers to increase yields and overall production, and by taking advantage Equatorial Guinea’s fertile soils.