Agriculture Ministry to Construct Multipurpose Market Hall at Tappita Weekly Market

TAPPITA, Nimba – The Ministry of Agriculture has broken ground for a US$200,000 multi-purpose market hall in Tappita at the site of the weekly market.

The facility is being funded under the ministry’s Rural Economic Transformation Project, also known as RETRAP. RETRAP is financed by the World Bank and aims to improve productivity and market access for farmers and agriculture-focused businesses.

During the groundbreaking ceremony held on July 3, RETRAP’s infrastructure specialist, Henry Swaray, said the RETRAP project is undertaking a 40km road pavement project from Tappita to Toe Town, Grand Gedeh.

“RETRAP is an agriculture project, so because of the road construction taking place, there has been a need to provide intervention to agriculture markets along the road,” he said. “On that basis, the project seeks to modernize market structures along the road that are involved in agricultural activities.”

Swaray said during a needs assessment conducted in Tappita a few months ago with traders at the market; they emphasized the need for a market structure with a warehouse and toilet. He said the decision to build the market structure resulted from the assessment.

The market hall will be a one-level structure with an area of 12,690 square feet. It will host an office for market leaders, a warehouse, a borehole with an elevated reservoir to supply water throughout the facility, and a toilet. The structure would host up to 400 traders, Swaray said. He added that the project would also provide a tricycle to the market officials to facilitate transporting trash from the market.

The company hired to construct the market hall is CEMMATS Group Liberia Limited. Its engineer, Borvah Kessele, promised to complete the project within three months, two months before Swaray said it would be completed.

Kessele said the company would prioritize hiring skilled and unskilled laborers and purchase local materials from within Tappita.

The groundbreaking ceremony was graced by local leaders of Tappita, including the district superintendent, marketing superintendent, the office of the city mayor, and the religious community.

Rev. Kerdoe Dwanyen of the Tappeh Baptist Church spoke on behalf of the religious community to caution residents against stealing or purchasing materials meant for the project. He recalled the praises showered on the people of Tappita by former Chinese Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao during the dedication of Jackson Fiah Doe Hospital in 2011 for their efforts to protect materials for the hospital’s construction. He challenged the people of Tappita to do the same with the market project.

The superintendent of the Liberia Marketing Association in Tappita, Oversus Mendoabor, said her group had been lobbying with different donor organizations for over three years to construct the market hall. She thanked the World Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture for agreeing to help Tappita traders.

“The good thing about this market is it will move us from under the rain and sun, and we will be relaxed in the building,” Mendoabor said. “Everybody will go inside to sell there. If you want to buy, you will go inside, and when [the] rain comes, you will not see rain, you will not see [the] sun.”

Meanwhile, Tappita’s statutory district superintendent, Lombayee M. Barlea, assured the implementers that he would fully support the project.

Featured photo by Jerry Myers

Jerry Myers

Jerry T. Myers, Jr. is a student of the Nimba County Community College, studying Natural Resource Management. Since 2008, Jerry has worked in the media sector, including at the Voice of Tappita community radio station, ELBC Radio, Radio Nimba, and New Public Trust Media Group. He is the current secretary-general of the Nimba Community Radio Association and a full member of the Press Union of Liberia.

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