-Agriculture Minister discloses
Liberia’s Agriculture Minister Jeanie Cooper says Liberia spent US$46 million on poetry and US$110 million on rice importation annually.
Speaking at a news conference Monday, February 01, Minister Cooper explains that the country spending such huge amount on the importation of poetry and rice is worrisome and the status quo should change in the soonest possible.
She was quick to point out that in recent years, Liberian farmers have begun improving and making progress in locally produced food. She narrates that with the rice issues, many Liberians have adjusted to eating locally produced rice instead of the imported rice.
She adds that Liberians are accepting poetry food including chickens, eggs, and other food items but rice has become a challenge to be accepted by them.
Speaking on the pending national agriculture fair, Minister Cooper opines that the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) announced the holding of a National Agricultural Fair on February 12-14, 2021 in Gbarnga City, Bong County, Liberia.
The MoA is mandated and required by law to host an annual National Agricultural Fair showcasing and promoting the agricultural sector in Liberia.
In accordance with the President of Liberia, George M. Weah’s declaration, “Liberians will no longer be spectators in our own economy” and “grow what you eat and eat what you grow”, the fair will set the tone and tenor on our national quest to give the masses of Liberians the opportunity to improve their lives and start them on the road of prosperity and development, as outlined in the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Following the President’s announcement of a new push by the government to foster positive growth for the Agriculture sector, President Weah, will attend the NAF and engage sector actors at all levels.
Presenting a never-before-seen opportunity for the lowliest farmers to the highest farmer to engage directly at the highest level of Agricultural Sector governance.
The National Agricultural Fair (NAF), is expected to see the largest gathering of Agricultural Sector actors in the country; farmers, Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and Enterprises, innovators, agricultural students, development partners, financial institutions, agriculture sector associations, etc…Bringing together these sector actors with policy makers and other stakeholders in the food and agricultural value chain.
Minister Cooper pointed out that the three-day event being held by the MoA will provide a space for dialogue about the sector, highlight agricultural education and training, showcasing of sector investments& interventions, give a platform for farmers to showcase their produce, sector networking, agribusiness products exhibitions and enterprise launches, celebrations of farmers’ achievements, to showcase their produce, highlight non-mainstream agricultural activities and attract investor interest.
The NAF will also be a platform for the Government and partners to announce new initiatives, new projects and investments in the sector and celebrate the successes of past initiatives and provide insight on major policy narratives& decisions.
The NAF is being organized by a secretariat composed of Agricultural technocrats and officers, under the stewardship of the Deputy Minister for Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Precious Tetteh.
Meanwhile, MoA is planning this event in collaboration with other line Ministries and Agencies, notably, the Ministry of State, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, the CDA, along with input from various actors and partners in the Agricultural Sector. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor