The Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority (LACRA) is to host a two – day validation workshop in Ganta, Nimba County to draft a policy that will regulate the sector.Speaking at a news conference recently at LACRA office, the Director General of the institution Mr. John S. Flomo says the workshop will be held from 8 to 9 Nov, bringing together stakeholders, farmers, members of the legislature and other key actors within the sector.
He notes that at the end of the validation workshop, policies will be agreed that will regulate the cocoa and coffee sector.Mr. Flomo indicates that farmers are key in the decision making of the sector because they are the producers of cocoa.
According to him, LACRA sustains farmers to be independent. Mr. Flomo discloses that LACRA is working with about 300 farmers, out of whom he says 100 will be given cocoa seeds for a little amount and will be monitored to ensure that good quality of cocoa can be produced.
He reveals that LACRA is helping farmers to produce quality cocoa, saying the institution has 96 acres of farmland and it is growing its own quality cocoa to make a case in 2020 in Paris, France for Liberia.
Mr. Flomo urges Liberians to focus on agriculture, while also calling on the government to invest in the agriculture sector.According to him, LACRA can support National Budget if it gets the needed support.He explains that LACRA’s function is to regulate the agriculture sector, but its focus is on the cocoa and coffee sectors for now.
He states that LACRA is working with farmers from Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties and it will make sure that Liberia produces quality of cocoa in preparation for the cocoa quality competition around the world.
Mr. Flomo indicates that investors are interested in coming to Liberia, adding that over the past one and a half years, series of meetings have been held with stakeholders in the agriculture sector, the various embassies, the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization and cocoa exporters to draft the regulation policy.
The LACRA boss details that a five – year strategic plan has been reached to increase the production in quality and quantity.Meanwhile, Mr. Flomo says his administration has carried on a massive renovation work within the short time of office at LACRA.By Ethel A Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley