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Biotechnology to drive growth in Liberia's agricultural sector

The Central Agric Research Institute (CARI) in Liberia has restored a biotechnology centre as part of its plans to make the West African country self-sufficient in food production

The centre will use biotechnology to utilise biological processes to purely modify living organisms for specific uses at CARI and the country at large, CARI said.

The department was restored back in 2010, following an invite by the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) for CARI to become involved in a regional cassava project to build its institution capacity in the country.

"For now, we are not carrying out most of the activities as a result of a lack of proper laboratory. We are currently doing mass production of cassava planting materials, using rapid multiplication techniques," said CARI officials.

"The Biotechnology Department at CARI has to its credit many achievements including the regional cassava project from CORAF with funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and two technicians from CARI were thoroughly trained in the plant tissue culture technique in Kumasi, Ghana," officials added.