By Lincoln G. Peters
Presidential aspirant Mr. Simeon Freeman says investment in the agriculture sector and private sector investment can recover Liberia’s economy.
Mr. Freeman addressed scores of intellectuals at the Mohammed Sasey Intellectual Forum at Red Hill Field recently and outlined his plans for Liberia’s recovery when he’s elected president this October.
He said he will invest in the agriculture sector, especially in the area of cassava production, and give opportunities to the private sector to increase jobs and employment.
“Liberia is what it’s today under this failed leadership not only because of corruption, but because this government has no interest and priority in the area of agriculture investment and private sector growth,” he said.
According to the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) standard bearer, Liberia is experiencing slow economic growth and recovery.
He said it is because the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government has failed to prioritize and invest in agriculture and the private sector.
“Many countries around the world are highly involved in the area of agriculture through massive production which has the chance of creating more jobs and food insecurity,” Mr. Freeman explained.
“But Liberia, despite having the land and resources, has refused to follow suit,” he stated.
The businessman-turned-politician indicated that Liberia is very blessed with the highest green forest, but governments of the past and present did pay attention to the agriculture and private sectors.
According to him, the agriculture and private sectors have the means to feed citizens.
Mr. Freeman disclosed that if Liberia will experience true economic growth and recovery, the country should move to agricultural production and private sector investment.
Mr. Freeman believes that these will enable Liberians to have jobs and become self-reliant, instead of waiting on the government.
Through agriculture and private sector investment, the MPC leader pledges to transform Liberia with better economic growth and recovery.
Mr. Freeman pointed out that he will do it by bringing in companies that will be able to provide the machines and the funding to farmers who will be willing to go into the area of cassava production.
He said cassava is an important cash crop in tropical and subtropical regions, and it’s versatile as an industrial raw material and staple food for the country.
“Even though African countries like Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of Congo are leading producers of Cassava, most of the crops eaten there are fresh or processed, and production is primarily focused on meeting domestic demand,” Mr. Freeman added.
He noted that Thailand is the leading Cassava export country worldwide. Besides exporting the majority of the Cassava produced, he said the crop contributes to the country’s biofuel and starch production.
“Other countries around the subregion are making more impact. [The] election is now, but it’s time that we all work around to see how best we can have the right person in place,” said Mr. Freeman.