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Politics News

Call to divert 50% WB grant to rice production

President George Manneh Weah is being requested by a local farmer here to put aside 50 percent of a recent World Bank grant of US$24.7m specifically for rice production.

Our Bong County correspondent says the head of the Disadvantaged Volunteers at the Center for Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County, Mr. Ernest Sumo has launched the appeal, asking President Weah to place the 50 percent into CARI’s budget for rice production.

Mr. Sumo told our correspondent recently that if Liberia should be self – dependent when it comes to rice, government must invest in the agriculture sector especially for rice production.

He recommends that if the 50 percent of the grant is given to CARI, a deputy director general needs to be appointed by the President to head the rice production in order to make the work of the director general easier.

Mr. Sumo believes that CARI will utilize the grant appropriately, claiming that the institution will set-up sub stations in the other 14 counties in Liberia where many low-land and swamp that have been layout by NGOs will be used for rice production activities.

He expresses a view that with such initiative, there will be job opportunities for thousands of neglected youths that overwhelmingly voted the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government to power.

He stated that to make the President’s dream of empowering citizens a reality, vocational institutions will be established at substations for training middle level agricultural technicians and machinists that will repair and build spare parts for the various farm equipment.

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“We want to see the names and images of our President and Vice President marked on bags, cartoon, and boxes with inscriptions “Made in Liberia” being exported before the end of your tenure,” Mr. Sumo adds.

He concludes that it is a total shame for Liberia to depend on imported rice, saying the country is very small and has very huge resources which when used correctly, will be able to satisfy its citizens.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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