Vice President Joseph Boakai has urged Liberians to invest more in the agriculture sector to make the country self-sufficient in food. Mr. Boakai said government remains committed to investing in the sector with the Ministry of Agriculture leading the way.
He spoke Tuesday, July 5, at the Central Agriculture Research Institute or CARI in Bong County at the official opening of the field office of the Liberia Agro- business development activity. VP Boakai commended USAID, Feed the Future, and the Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture for initiating the Liberia Agribusiness development activity, noting that the co- investment funding program fully re-echoes government’s repeated reminders to stakeholders that investing in Agriculture should not be considered an exclusive preserve of the state.
He referenced huge role private investment is playing globally in moving nations to self-sufficiency in food production, while describing the launch as welcoming and timely. Ambassador Boakai said his presence at the event is to boost support for LADA and USAID’s goals of strengthening the role of the private sector in the development of agriculture in Liberia.
The Vice President also described the activities of LADA as key to creating awareness on the critical need for increased private sector involvement in the provision of vital inputs like fertilizers, seeds and other supplies to farmers.
He expressed delight that USAID has earmarked US$19. 3 million to strengthen provision of private sector services to farmers, especially fertilizers, seeds and other inputs, while hoping such supply goes hand-in-hand with teaching farmers the proper use of these inputs.
United States Ambassador Christine Elder, who also attended the opening ceremony said, the Bong field office is the first of three LADA offices in the country, noting that although she has been in Liberia for less than a month, but what was clear is that many Liberians are engaged in Agriculture.
She said Liberia has a lot of potential because of the rain, good soil and was important for Liberians to engage in hard work to maximize productivity in the sector. Speaking earlier, Agriculture Minister Dr. Moses Zinnah said it was important for Liberians to invest in agriculture especially at the time when the global prices of rubber and iron ore which are sources of income, are reduced.
Minister Zinnah praised the government and people of the United States through USAID for their continued support to Liberia’s development, especially in the agriculture sector and assured that the ministry will work and support the Agro- dealers association of Liberia in realizing its dreams.