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Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai says the Government of Liberia has and will continue to encourage private sector participation in policy formulation to ensure that everyone has a stake in agricultural enterprise development in the country.

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He said continued involvement of the private sector in policy formulation for the agricultural sector will help strengthen growth of the economy. Vice President Boakai made the assertion Tuesday, September 13, at the official program of the agribusiness exposition building a food secure future in Liberia, held at the Monrovia City Hall.

The Vice President indicated that government’s commitment to policy formulation is to continue placing more emphasis on designing innovative financing mechanisms for the agriculture sector, including small and medium enterprise or SME, agricultural financing mechanisms such as incentive-based risk-sharing facilities for agricultural lending, and social impact bonds that will cover catalytic financing facilities, agriculture-relevant e-wallet, and digital financing mechanisms, among others.

The Vice President disclosed the Government of Liberia is closely working with the African Development Bank or AFDB and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa or AGRA to design and set up the Liberia Incentive-Based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending or LIRSAL based on ongoing best practices in Nigeria and other African countries with support from both institutions.

He said reducing post-harvest losses, strengthening value addition, establishing structure markets and marketing can all contribute to sustainable food security, adding that overall, the estimated rate of post-harvest losses in Liberia is approximately 35 to 40 percent.

Ambassador Boakai said in rice production, these losses are caused by improper processing, poor storage practices and transport constraints, adding that there is one way to attain food security is by reducing such rate of post-harvest loss.

According to him, if post-harvest losses can be reduced to a more reasonable level, other aspects of value addition-processing, storage, packaging, processing, and market linkages are all enhanced, noting that to all of this the government is also encouraging stronger frameworks for collaboration and agreed scorecard for mutual accountability to judge the results of implementation of huge investments in various programs and projects both by government, development partners and NGOs.

He said the Government of Liberia and development partners should be held accountable for huge sums of funds spent in the agriculture sector and other sectors, for economic growth, transformation, shared prosperity and improved livelihoods of Liberians. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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