CHANGING LIBERIA ONE FARMER AT A TIME
Liberia Farmer to Farmer Mission
The mission of the Liberia Farmer to Farmer Ministry is to assist the people of Harrisburg, Liberia to enhance their farming productivity by using technology and mechanization, and to provide education, training, and basic skills to the community.
Liberia Farmer to Farmer Vision
While working through the Churches of the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church along with a range of supporters, in partnership with the St. John United Methodist Church-St. Paul River District of the Liberia Annual Conference United Methodist Church, the Liberia Farmer to Farmer Ministry will support the spiritual and economic development of the congregation and the community.
Liberia, also known as the Republic of Liberia, is a country along the coast of western Africa. Liberia was founded by free people of color from the United States.
Liberian independence was proclaimed in 1847, and its boundaries were expanded. The country enjoyed relative stability until a rebellion in 1989 escalated into a destructive civil war in the 1990s that did not fully cease until 2003. The country’s first post-conflict elections, held in 2005, were noteworthy for the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the presidency, as she was the first woman to be elected head of state in Africa.
Agriculture is the leading sector of the economy. About half the land area is suitable for cultivation, though a small percentage is actually cultivated. Commercial farms are often operated by foreigners. Traditional farmers practice mixed cultivation of rice, cassava, and vegetables. They also raise goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks.
The Power of an Idea
So why is there a Liberia Farmer to Farmer Ministry located in Harrisburg, Liberia?
Harrisburg in Montserrado County is a town located in Liberia about 15 mi (or 25 km) northeast of Monrovia, the country’s capital.
Liberia Farmer to Farmer Ministry History
The seed for the Liberia Farmer to Farmer Ministry was planted years ago when Pryde Bass, born and reared in Harrisburg, Liberia, West Africa, emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio USA in 1965. Pryde had been burdened for 40 plus years about going back to his native Liberia to give hope and a new way of life to many Liberians. He reasoned that farming was the perfect opportunity.
Little did he know that a divinely inspired encounter in 2010 with Rev. Ray Ake, a pastor in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, would be the fodder for planting the seed and starting the first fruits of this ever-evolving ministry. The ministry has expanded from farming to include a variety of projects that help improve the lives of the people of Harrisburg.
A Liberia Farmer to Farmer Ministry Committee emerged as part of the East Ohio Conference 3Cs Initiative that supported Churches, Classrooms, and Clinics. The committee has expanded and is now part of the East Ohio Volunteers in Mission. Several mission teams have traveled to Harrisburg to engage in a range of mission activities.