Vice President Boakai calls for fertilizer manufacturing plants

Tuesday, 5th August 2008
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberiaís Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has called for the establishment of factories for the manufacture of fertilizer and chemicals to boost  agricultural productivity in Africa.

He lamented that some farmers see their crops perish due to bad soil, saying there was a need for fertilizer and chemical factories to help boost food production.

Vice President Boakai made the call Monday, when a three-man delegation from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), accompanied by officials of the Agriculture Ministry on Monday paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building Office.

He observed that Liberian farmers were doing their best but were faced with many challenges, saying the looming food crisis can only be prevented if African farmers employ modern farming techniques, and thanked AGRA for taking the initiative to empower African farmers.

Vice President Boakai said the AGRA program was timely, because it aims to empower farmers by providing for them better seeds and exposing them to modern techniques of agriculture.     

Briefing the Vice President earlier, the AGRA Program Director for Seed Systems, Dr. Joseph DeVries said they were in the country to conduct an assessment mission upon the request of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

He said he was impressed with the activities of the Agriculture Ministry,  saying the Ministry has initiated improved varieties of seedlings for local farmers.

He said AGRA, which is chaired by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was committed to lifting millions out of poverty and hunger by increasing the productivity of hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers and improving their livelihoods.

He said AGRA engages African organizations of farmers, agro-dealers, scientists, private sector firms, national leaders and institutions, and the broader civil society, adding that AGRA addresses challenges faced by farmers, ranging from seeds, soils and water to markets, agricultural expertise and finance.