Local farmers in Pleebo, Maryland County are calling on President George Weah to invest in Agriculture and support the sector for economic growth.
Speaking on behalf of farmers in Pleebo city, a prominent citizen, Mark Thompson says farmers want to feel the impact of agriculture in every part of the country.
He explains that all goods in the county is being exported from Ivory Coast, whereas Liberia has similar soil that could grow crops being imported and should look in that direction.
“The factors of production has to do with land and capital; we do not need physical cash but rather tools and seeds; we are prepared to take the soil therefore, government must take this very serious, by ensuring that agriculture becomes practical in the country,” Mr. Thompson emphasizes.
Commenting on the question of Liberians taking ownership of their economy, and not being spectators as indicated by President George Weah, Mr. Thompson says Liberians would continue to be spectators, if nothing were done to support local formers.
According to him, the business community in the country, particularly Pleebo, is being dominated by foreigners, whom he claims are involved with wholesale and retailing at the same time.
Thompson, who reveals that his wife is a marketer in Pleebo, says store owners should only engage in wholesale, and not to do both at the same time.“Marketers in the county are not making profits due to the part of these foreign business nationals.”
According to him, due to lack of regulations as to who should engage in what, foreigners are now taking disadvantage to exploit citizens, saying, “These foreigners feel government is in their pocket, so they are also using the U.S. rate to exploit citizens.”
The agriculture sector suffered 50 percent decrease between 2016/17 appropriation (US$119M) and fiscal year 2017/18 appropriation (US$5.9M) or six percent of the draft US$526.5M Pro-poor national budget recently submitted to the 54th Liberian Legislature.
By Ben P. Wesee-Editing by Jonathan Browne