“Data Is a Serious Problem for Agriculture Sector”

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Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mogana S. Flomo.

-Agriculture Minister Flomo

Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana Flomo says the lack of agriculture data remains a serious challenge to the sector, “because  data collection is a serious problem for us. As a country, we need to do something about data in the agricultural sector.”

As such, he said the ministry is currently working on a proposal that seeks to conduct a complete survey on the country’s agriculture sector to have evidence-based understanding of issues confronting the sector, to jointly seek remedy from government and partners.

Minister Flomo spoke at a one-day plenary meeting of the National Oil Palm Technical Working Group in Monrovia.

He said it is unacceptable for Liberia as a country to base its development in the agriculture sector on assumptions because of the lack of data.

He called on partners to assist the ministry by providing the needed materials to ensure that the proposed project is implemented successfully to inform the government and investors through evidence-based data about the sector.

Dr. Flomo said oil palm remains one of Liberia’s priority crops in the Agriculture Investment Plan, because of its ability to redeem the people from poverty to prosperity in line with the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

The one-day special plenary meeting discussed and identified challenges in the oil palm sector, and advanced possible solutions to remedy those challenges.

Flomo thanked UNDP for allowing the ministry to be a part of the Green Growth Partnership that seeks to ensure sustainable oil palm production in the country.

The Green Growth Partnership is an initiative of the Global Environment Facility led by the United Nations Development Program’s Green Commodities Program. It is designed to tackle the root causes of deforestation from agriculture commodities, specifically palm oil in Liberia.

UNDP Deputy Country Director for Programs, Cleophas Torori, said the presence of the Minister Flomo at the meeting signifies government’s willingness to take ownership, and lead the Partnership.

“I think the model that is being experimented to link investors, producers and the market, supported by enabling legislation and policies, particularly policies that promote sustainable land use is very critical,” Mr. Torori said.

He said it was also important to build synergies with the already established Multi-Stakeholders Platforms that are working in different concession affected communities, and other existing groupings that are working in the sector with the National Oil Palm Technical Working Group for better results.

Torori said he remains supportive to the growth of the National Oil Palm Technical Working Group to seek and advanced solutions to addressing issues confronting the oil palm sector.

Ramses T. Kumbuyah, Deputy Commissioner, National Bureau of Concessions, underscored the importance of Liberians involvement in the development of their communities by becoming owners of small farms, and bringing them into the decision-making processes.

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