On Thursday, March 10, 2016, the President of the African Development Bank or AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina at the head of a delegation from the bank, was in Liberia as guest of the Government of Liberia.
At the conclusion of his visit, the Liberian Government hosted a dinner in honor of the visiting AfDB delegation. During the occasion held at a local hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia, Dr. Adesina assured President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the people of Liberia that the bank would give maximum support to the country as assistance for the country’s diversification agenda, with specific emphasis on agriculture and other areas, including power, stressing that the bank will do everything possible to support Liberia.
While acknowledging the challenges with which Liberia was confronted and the need to do more to overcome the fifty-percent abject poverty rate, he also indicated that the country had huge agricultural potentials – in rubber, cocoa, cassava and rice; and that there was no reason for Liberia to be importing its stable food –rice, at over US$100m annually.
He emphasized to the President the urgent need to make Liberia fully self-sufficient in rice, expressing confidence that it can be done and it would take less than four years. For us, we think last week’s visit of the AfDB delegation to Liberia was not only commendable, but also rewarding, owing to the fact such commitment of support and words of motivation for self-sufficiency in food production would be emanating from such high executive of the bank.
As we hail Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina – a former Agriculture Minister of Nigeria, and delegation, we also draw the attention of the AfDB and the Government of Liberia to the issue of restoring the Agriculture and Cooperative Development Bank or ACDB in Liberia.
With the intervention of the AfDB in the Agriculture sector, it would be very befitting and in the interest of Liberian farmers for some of the assistance from the African Development Bank to be directed to the revitalization of the ACDB so that they (farmers) are again reassured and highly motivated to engage the soil.
We are of the fervent belief that with the revitalization of the ‘farmers’ bank’ as the ACDB was once referred to across Liberia, no doubt, the soil could once again be a true investment for food production and the best bank, especially with the current economic down-turn in the country.
We, once again, appeal to Madam President and her administration to look towards such direction and constructively engage the African Development Bank as she has always done, to revitalize the ‘farmers’ bank’ – the ACDB.