President George Manneh Weah on Monday, 4 February visited the Ministry of Agriculture in Gardnersville, following his commitment during his second State of the Nation Address last month that he would give the agriculture sector the same focus he gives to paved road construction efforts.
The Executive Mansion says in a press release that President Weah used the visit to share notes and brainstorm with authority of the Ministry and other partners on how to make agriculture a major centerpiece of Liberia’s economic development.
Agriculture Ministry is the arm of government responsible to oversee the agriculture sector here.
In a brief comment at a roundtable discussion with partners and Agriculture Ministry officials, President Weah re-accentuated the correlation between agriculture productions and economic boom on the one hand and poverty alleviation and national security on the other.
He says the essence of his visit to the Ministry is to interact with partners to find appropriate mechanisms and identify strategies that would help ameliorate odds attending the sector.
President Weah thanks partners of the Agriculture Sector for standing with Liberia in its endeavor to strengthen the sector.
“This meeting is necessary because, as I said in my address to the nation, we are not getting what is being put into the sector,” President Weah says emphatically.
Speaking to reporters later after a close-door interaction, President Weah says they discussed ways and means they could work together to improve the sector.
He particularly indicates how to lend support to farmers so that Liberia becomes self-sufficient in food production.
“We talked about a lot of things during the meeting,” he tells reporters.
“We talked about how we could leave from slash and burn farming methods to mechanized farming. You know there is a huge investment in agriculture, but the outcome is so little,” President Weah laments.
Meanwhile, President Weah says it is now time that government and its partners find new strategies to improve the sector, stressing the need to put together a technical team that would work from time to time on issues and programs toward achieving fruitful results.
“You know we have land but there are no farms,” the President continues.
“We need to develop bigger farms and with better technology we will be able to produce our own food to be self-sufficient in food production,” he continues.
He emphasizes that achieving this needs critical intervention and continuous support in order to change the current negligible outturn compared to the enormous investment being put into the sector.
President Weah was accompanied at the meeting by the Minister of Finance Samuel Tweah; Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel F. McGill and Central Bank of Liberia Governor Nathaniel Patray.
The donors were led by United Nations Country Resident Coordinator, Yacoub El Hillo.–Press release
Pres. Weah speaks at Agriculture stakeholders meeting