The Representative and Country Director of the World Food Program (WFP) in Liberia, Mr. Bienvenu Djossa, has expressed strong optimism that it is possible for Liberia to end hunger by 2030 in line with the objectives and targets of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Two, one of the seventeen SDGs that constitute the 2030 development agenda .
Liberia is currently conducting a strategic hunger review exercise nationwide to properly inform the government, people and partners on the needs, constraints and steps that are to be taken to end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition and improve food producers’ productivity in 15 years.
Regional consultations are being held in the counties to sensitize and gather the views, ideas and inputs of Liberians from all walks of life to create a national roadmap for solutions to end hunger.
Speaking in Gbarnga, Bong County, last week during the fifth and final round of the regional consultations, Mr. Djossa urged participants to make strong contributions “so that your voices are heard regardless of who you are – pem-pem rider, marketer, farmer, student, everybody needs to participate – because the key answers to hunger challenges will come from you.”
He said through this strategic review, the government, which leads the process, will know the root causes of hunger and tackle them.
He pledged WFP’s fullest commitment to the Zero Hunger Review initiative in keeping with its UN mandate to help countries fight hunger, achieve food security and promote agriculture and nutrition.
“WFP is pleased to contribute to this process by playing the key role of facilitator in conjunction with other UN agencies, civil society organizations, government ministries and partners,” he added.
Participants at the Gbarnga meeting – comprising delegates from Lofa, Nimba and Bong counties – spoke their hearts out.
“Government does not have good prices for farmers because they do not respect the food we produce in Liberia. As a result, we lose all the time,” said Nimba County farmer and trader Comfort K. Kehleay.
James Marwieh, another farmer from Nimba County, said: “There are tons of rice stuck in Nimba for three years without government buying the rice, thus defeating our efforts. This has to change.”
Patrick Samah of Lofa County said: “Farmers need upgraded rice mills equipped with de-stoners so that Liberian rice can meet the quality standards and defeat imported rice, otherwise Liberian rice will not be promoted.”