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Local farmer speaks against rice importation

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Leela Group of Farmer’s (LGOF) in Tokpablee, Bong County Mr. Moses Kerlen has spoken against a huge importation of rice in Liberia due government’s lack of support to encourage farmers.

Mr. Kerlen who is also the Commissioner of Tokpablee District told our Bong County correspondent recently that as commissioner, agriculture production remains his paramount concern in order to save national government from spending more money on the importation of the country’s staple food, rice.

“Liberia is a country that heavily depends on other countries to feed its citizens and the government of Liberia spends little over 200 Million United States dollars for the importation of the country’s staple food from other parts of the world,” he complains.

“Liberians consume millions of metric tons of rice every year, with a significant portion of its consumption sourced from imports. So the government needs to go back to the policies of the 60s and 70s when farmers were given loans to improve their farming activities,” Mr. Kerlen continues.

He says he wants “to battle the importation of rice, but with the traditional shifting cultivation method still being used in Liberia, it is a difficult war to fight.” Mr. Kerlen says his organization LGOF has been inspired to set up a few initiatives, such as giving assistance to farmers for the production of food.

According to him, the LGOF comprises of 5321 members from Tokpablee, Kokoyah Sub – District and Kpaii District in Bong County. He says the Leela Group of Farmer’s was established in 2015 with the aim of going back to the soil to be self-reliant in the society.

Mr. Kerlen reveals that this organization is engaged in animal husbandry, palm planning, cocoa productions, subsistence farming.He urges government through the Ministry of Agriculture to pay attention to Liberian farmers in every parts of the Country.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kerlen is calling on residents of Tokpablee District and Liberians across the country to actively engage in agriculture and feed themselves, and save more money to be able to educate their children.

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

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