Liberian Agriculture Students to Study at Florence University

Sunday, 14th September 2008
 Monrovia, Liberia - Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has held discussions with authorities of the Institute of Agriculture at Florence University in Italy for the award of scholarships to Liberian students to pursue advanced courses in agriculture and agronomy at the institute.

During a brief visit to the institute Thursday, Vice President Boakai, accompanied by Liberia’s Ambassadors to the Court of Saint  James (U.K), France as well as Liberia’s  Charge  D’affaires to Italy, said the protracted civil conflict in Liberia devastated all sectors of Liberian society and resulted in massive brain drain which has posed a major challenge to the post-war country’s reconstruction program.

He spoke at a brief welcome program held in the auditorium of the Institute of Agriculture at Florence University.

Vice President recalled the pivotal role Italy played in the establishment of the country’s only medical college which is named after an eminent Italian, A.M Dogliotti, and hoped Italy would assist post-war Liberia as it grapples with its perennial food insecurity by training its agriculturists.

He said Liberia has an ideal soil for the cultivation of oil palm and other cash crops like cocoa and coffee.

In remarks, the Director General of the Institute, Alice Perline pledged the Institute’s willingness to collaborate in the training of Liberian agriculturists and agronomists, adding, ”It is expected that students from Liberia will attend the institute next year”.

The welcome ceremony was followed by an interactive forum during which authorities of the Institute explained the mission of the institution to Vice President Boakai.

The Institute offers Master’s degrees in agriculture and related fields, and collaborates with the United Nations, European Commission and other international agencies in implementing agriculture related projects around the world.

Discussions for the award of scholarships to Liberian students to study at the university were initiated by Liberia’s Charge d’Affaires in Italy Musu Ruhle and Liberia’s former Consul General  Mr. Varo Junior Macchi.

Earlier on Thursday, Vice Boakai paid a courtesy call on the Prefetto della Repubblica, Dr. Demenco Mannino in the Bibbona suburb of Cecina.
Vice President Boakai and party returned home Friday night.