Vice President Boakai Outlines Progress In Agriculture Sector

Thursday, 28th January 2010
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has been outlining progress made in Liberia’s agriculture sector since the ascension to power of the Unity Party-led Government.

He said under the Poverty Reduction Strategy or ‘Lift Liberia’ program, the Ministry of Agriculture has been involved in a number of activities to empower women farming groups to increase their production.

He also cited progress made in improving agriculture as the re-establishment of cooperative societies and increase in rice production by local farmers, resulting in the purchase of rice from them by the UN World Food Program for school feeding.

Vice President Boakai was speaking on Wednesday, January 27 at his Capitol Building Office, when a two-member delegation from the Washington based International Resource Group (IRG), accompanied by Mr. David Dahnkuan Woumiah of Morris Farm in the northern suburb of Paynesville, paid a courtesy call on him.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture with support from WFP and UN FAO, was also involved in providing seedlings to local farmers to enable them produce quality rice.

He added that some supply for seed production was being provided through the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Gbarnga, Bong County .

“Seed rice production is on the increase, with two mechanized rice production companies in operation,” Vice President Boakai told the visiting IRG officials.

The Liberian Vice President however cited lack of good roads as a major challenge to Liberia’s agricultural development. “ This is why the Ministry of Agriculture is now asking that whatever help comes to the agriculture sector must be linked to road building ,” he said, adding, “A good road network is critical to a successful agricultural program.”

Briefing the Vice President earlier, the head of the delegation, Mr. Kevin George said in November 2008, the Liberian Government signed an agreement with the United States Government through USAID for assistance in its economic growth program, with components in agriculture and roads.

He said they were in the country to identify the needs and priorities of the country in the agriculture sector , and to gather ideas on how to proceed.