Visiting World Bank Director Pays Courtesy Call on Vice President Boakai

Wednesday, 9th June 2010
Monrovia, Liberia -The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Guinea, Mr. Ishac Diwan on Wednesday paid a courtesy call on Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at his Capitol Building office.

Briefing Vice president Boakai, Mr. Diwan said he was in the country to conduct an assessment of Liberiaí s agriculture sector to determine what can be done to invigorate it.

Mr. Diwan who was accompanied to the Vice Presidentís office by World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Dr. Ohene Owusu Nyanin, said while in Liberia, he would visit the countryside to hold discussions with farmers to get a better sense of the need for rehabilitation of farms and roads and transportation, as well as help small farmers rehabilitate their farms.

In remarks, Vice President Boakai informed the visiting World Bank Country Director that the war forced many farmers to leave the countryside and resettle in the urban areas.

He said as a result, many cocoa, coffee and oil palm farms were abandoned and have not been rehabilitated for about 30 years.

The Liberian Vice President stressed the need to rehabilitate cash crop farms because, he noted, these farms were the only means by which rural dwellers earned cash to undertake projects like the construction their houses.

He noted that the rehabilitation of farms would also create jobs for rural community dwellers.

According to the Vice President, the coming of agricultural concessions like Sime Darby was a blessing to oil palm farmers, even though, he noted, it would take time to fully rehabilitate existing farms. He also stressed the need to supply seedlings to farmers to ensure the rehabilitation of farms.

Vice President Boakai also informed the World Bank official about the need to rehabilitate and build roads across the country, as roads which were not cared for during the war, are in shambles.

The Liberian Vice President said one area that requires investment urgently is the poultry industry which had become dormant since the war.

He said before the war, Liberia was self-sufficient in poultry products because the country boasted of poultry farms like Bright Farm and Baker Farm that supplied the nationís poultry needs.

Besides, he noted, poultry farming will not only create employment opportunities, but also supply supermarkets and restaurants that currently import poultry products.