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GeneralLiberia news

National Agricultural Development Agenda proposed 

The proposed National Agricultural Development Agenda seeks to guide the agricultural sector’s trajectory over the next six years.

By Kruah Thompson 

Monrovia, April 2, 2023: The Ministry of Agriculture, under the leadership of Mr. J. Alexander Nuetah, has proposed a National Agricultural Development Agenda (NADP), aiming to address challenges amid budgetary constraints.

The agriculture minister highlighted the pressing need for human resource capacity and increased budgetary support to propel the agricultural sector forward during a press briefing on Tuesday, 2 April 2024, at the Ministry of Information.

The proposed National Agricultural Development Agenda, currently in formulation with technical assistance from partners, seeks to guide the agricultural sector’s trajectory over the next six years.

Within the NADP framework, Minister Nuetah disclosed that the country would adopt a value-chain approach to developing agricultural products, including food crops, tree crops, fruit crops, livestock, and fisheries.

In delineating the ambitious plans within the NADP framework, Minister Nuetah outlined specific initiatives. 

They include food crops: 50,000 hectares have been allocated for rice production, 20,000 hectares for mechanized cassava production, and 2,000 hectares for mechanized vegetable production.

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For tree crops, it is proposed to have provision of 10,000 hectares for small cocoa farms, 15,000 hectares for smallholder coffee farms, 5,000 hectares for smallholder cashew nut farmers, and establishment of 12,000 hectares of smallholder coconut farms in coastal counties.

Regarding fruit crops, 5,000 hectares of smallholder avocado farms, 7,500 hectares of citrus farms, and 200 hectares of smallholder papaya farms are proposed to be developed.

For livestock, the Ministry also proposed revamping cattle ranges nationwide, supporting the establishment of poultry farms, and developing programs for goat, sheep, and pig rearing.

Minister Nuetah stressed the importance of strengthening institutional capacity, including the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), to effectively administer the sector and conduct research to achieve the NADP.

Furthermore, he called for promoting agriculture mechanization, improving farmer access to production technologies, and standardizing agricultural commodity markets.

To address the financial constraints, Minister Nuetah proposed the establishment of an Agricultural Development Bank to facilitate access to finance for value chain development.

The Ministry also revealed that they have launched a cooperative production program for rice and other commodities, including land preparation initiatives benefiting hundreds of people across various regions.

To enhance practical learning, the Ministry unveiled the University of Liberia Farms, which aims to provide students with hands-on agricultural experience.

Despite strides, challenges persist, with Minister Nuetah acknowledging staffing shortages within the Ministry. He says efforts are underway to address these gaps, including recruiting district agriculture officers and specialists.

Minister Nuetah reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to agricultural development, emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to overcome challenges and realize the sector’s full potential.

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