Vice President Joseph N. Boakai delivered the keynote address at the 35th Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy

Wednesday, 4th April 2012

The Vice President of Liberia, Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai, has identified three key priority areas which he said are essential in achieving Liberia’s Agriculture Sector Investment Program (LASIP). The priority areas include improvement in food and nutrition security, enhancement in agricultural productivity and promoting competitiveness and linkages to markets as well as strengthening human and institutional capacities.

Delivering the keynote address at the 35th Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday (22 February 2012), Vice President Boakai said the government has already began making strides in these priority areas including the establishment of legislations and guidelines, implementation of soil and water conservation and the protection of watersheds and wetlands.

Speaking on the theme “Sustainable Agriculture: Feeding the world and protecting the planet”, Vice President Boakai, informed the IFAD Governing Council that Food Security is a critical pillar in the Liberia’s development and recovery agenda and efforts will be redoubled during the second term of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to provide the enabling environment for smallholder farmers to contribute to rising food availability by providing basic farming implements including seeds, fertilizers and tools as well as protecting farmers against the negative effects of climate change.

He said, “the government is aware that some policies and approaches will be difficult to implement because of traditional farming practices like shifting cultivation, slash and burn methods and women dominated farming which contributes to unsustainable agriculture environment but the government is committed to replacing the old mode of rudimentary farming with mechanize farming of variety crops for sustainable growth and development”.

Vice President Boakai who spoke amidst applauses from delegates representing more than 100 IFAD member states, commended the Governing Council of IFAD for supporting the revitalization of smallholder tree crops and strengthening farmers’ cooperative organizations in Liberia which he said are crucial in ensuring sustainable incomes for farmers. 

He said, “Liberia looks forward to strengthening its engagement with IFAD with the primary objective of broadening and deepening the ties in the agriculture sector and at the same time, ensuring that the partnership in making a real difference in the fight against hunger in Liberia and on the common planet is achieved”.