GOL, FAO Strengthen Partnership

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The Government of Liberia through the ministry of Agriculture has signed a Country Programming Framework (CPF) with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a means of strengthening its partnership to reduce hunger in the country for 2016 to 2019.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony on Monday at the Ministry of Agriculture on Somalia Drive Gardnersville, FAO Country Representative Dr. Marc Abdala stated that the Country Programming Framework is a document that is designed to fight hunger and malnutrition as part of the mandate of the FAO in promoting a food secure environment.

Dr. Abdala disclosed that other countries are fighting to end hunger by 2019, and it is the hope of his organization for Liberia to be among those countries who will be food secure.

“Liberia has many natural resources. Should we say that we should be hungry, suffer from malnutrition or poverty? No, that is why we are signing this document to say no to all of these issues including food insecurity, poverty, hunger, malnutrition and work together to improve food productivity and achieve Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation.

He cautioned that in order for the country to achieve food security as a means of reducing hunger and poverty, the government and partners must work to address the major challenges of access to market.

“We are not just talking about hunger but FAO has the capacity to work along with MOA, and we are not just talking about ending hunger; we are working and getting closer.”

He pledged his organization’s continued support by committing it to increase the collaborating with the government through the MOA by ensuring the implementation of the document.

At the same time, Agriculture Minister Dr. Moses Zinnah explained that the CPF will provide support to the government of Liberia through bringing together innovative international best practices and global standards with national and regional expertise to assist the improvements of the agriculture sector.

He described the signing ceremony as very significant because the CPF, according to him, will go beyond agriculture, with focus on forestry and the management of the country’s natural resources.

According to Minister Zinnah, revitalization of Liberia’s economy through increased agricultural production and productivity, food nutrition security and poverty reduction, especially amongst the rural population, including women and children, are key to the CPF document.

Dr. Zinnah also said that the CPF was prepared following consultations, meetings and agreements with a wide range of stakeholders and partners in Liberia including relevant government ministries, agencies and commissions, as well as experts from relevant technical units of FAO and core technical and professional teams from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Forestry Development Authority that were put in place to support the CPF formulation process.

According to him, as everyone gears up for the implementation of the framework over the next four years, it is his hope that it will help anchor the agriculture program and stimulate the economic prosperity of the rural population and ensure improved living conditions within the agriculture value chain handling support, processing, storage, transportation and marketing services.

“Let’s move ahead and stop talking, we need action to move Liberia forward,” Min. Zinnah said.

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