A Liberian youth from Bong County Samuel Babajuah has called on citizens of the country to unite and go back to the soil, expressing his frustration at Liberia’s dependence on populated countries like China and India for the importation of its staple, rice.
Speaking to our correspondent in Bong County on one of his farms in Belequelleh Clan, Mr. Babajuah says going back to the soil can be the only option that will help reduce hardship. He says Liberia is a country of just less than five million people, adding that it is very much frustrating for it to depend on China and India for the importation of rice.
According to him, uniting and going back to the soil can be the best interest for the country as many people will become self-employed and not depending on the government all the time. He suggests that agriculture is an important element in the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) because it provides employment and income for many.
Mr. Babajuah tells journalists that there are many young people in Liberia who can help to move the country forward through agriculture, adding that “maximizing the usage of the soil can build the Liberia we want because farming can put food on your table and money in your pocket.” He believes that if at least 50% of the country’s population gets involved in farming activities, it will be a significant contributing factor in addressing food insecurity.
He adds that hunger is an issue of growing concern nationwide, and farmers can play a critical role in helping individual families gain access to healthy, fresh, locally produced food. “Producing at least our staple food (rice) can help boost our economy. You are aware that Liberia spends over $200 million to import rice annually. So imagine if we are producing food,” he says.
Right now, he says the country’s budget is little over five hundred million United States Dollars, noting that if Liberia can be able to get such an amount from the soil, the National Budget can increase to billion dollars.
Mr. Babajuah concludes that as a youth of Bong County, he will continue to invest in the soil to help people who are struggling.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong County–Edited by Winston W. Parley