Agriculture sector suffers abandonment
–SUP calls for intervention
By Lincoln G. Peters
The University of Liberia (UL)-based Student Unification Party (SUP) has lamented an extreme abandonment of the agriculture sector, by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government.
The campus-based party also complained over food insecurity in the country, alleging that with the ascendency to the national leadership of the CDC government, the agriculture sector has suffered intensified abandonment.
SUP Chairman Mustapha N. Kanneh to a press conference Tuesday, 31 January 2023 on UL’s Capitol Hill campus that budgetary support to the agriculture sector has never reached 5% under the CDC regime.
Kanneh said it still drags in less than 2%. Kanneh argued that the agricultural sector commands the greatest possibility of absorbing people into employment.
He stated that the high level of unemployment in the country can only be mitigated if the government sees the urgency to massively invest in the agriculture sector.
Chairman Kanneh mentioned that the sector can also assure the people of food security and adequacy as the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) promises.
By 2023, SUP said, Liberia will have a more competitive and diversified agricultural sector that promotes a valued chain for food self-sufficiency, increased exports, job creation, and livelihood opportunities.
Chairman Kanneh added that for Liberia to realize its potential for sustained economic growth, implementation of the LASIP II must be accelerated.
He stated that sadly, the PAPD contains ambitious promises that have not been backed by practical support and are further shadowed by incompetence and massive corruption in the agricultural sector.
“The CDC of President Weah has massively pulverized the hopes of the people and students, especially the students of the University of Liberia, who are studying agriculture and hoping for employment in the agricultural sector,” he said.
In a pro-poor government that should be significantly investing in the agricultural sector, Kanneh said the government is allotting an insufficient five million to the sector.
He wondered how this figure can make any significant progress in a sector that lacks almost everything that is required for a productive and prosperous sector.
He stated that SUP believes that President Weah has taken the agricultural sector to a new chapter of food insecurity while the Liberian people are left to suffer the consequences of malnutrition and undernourishment.
“Today in Liberia, WHO has estimated that one in every three children in Liberia suffers malnutrition as a result of food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, and lack of employment opportunities for their parents,” Kanneh explained.
“More children continue to go to bed with hunger as many more continue to die from starvation, lack of safe drinking water and quality food,” he added.
Kanneh lamented that the only active and functional plan available is to constantly beg for food in foreign lands.
“Agriculture is the future of the Liberian economy any government that is serious about initiating radical social transformation would focus much attention on bettering the Agro sector,” Chairman Kanneh indicated.
According to him, it’s not just empty figments of the imagination of policies but well-thought-of and scientific policies backed by practical action geared towards empowering the local farmers with both resources and material implements.