A candidate for the 2017 General and Presidential Elections, Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe, along with his American investors, has promised to prioritize women in the agriculture sector of Liberia.
Dr. Whapoe, a son of Nimba, made the statement recently in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, when he and his delegation visited the county to identify with “Friends of Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe,’’ and to brief local farmers, mainly the women, about the project.
“I will be a candidate. I will be a formidable candidate in the 2017 elections,’’ Mr. Whapoe stated confidently, when he addressed groups of women in the county, amid thunderous applause from crowds of supporters, predominantly farmers.
Dr. Whapoe told the women that he and his backers are expected to initially invest an amount of US$500,000 to improve the way crops, especially rice, the country’s staple food, are cultivated in the country.
He disclosed that they will establish a company, Liberian Initiative for Food and Entrepreneurship (LIFE 40, Inc), that will teach modern techniques in farming and his farm will partner with Liberian farmers to alleviate hunger among the rural poor.
According to him, local farmers would be taught how to clear lands once and farm on it forever, noting “you will not be shifting from one land to the other as is being practiced here,” adding that his company will teach farmers how to farm sustainably.
“Our whole purpose is not to take money back to the US. Our purpose is to work with the local land owners to teach them new skills that will make them self-sufficient.
The arrival of the investors in Liberia is a fulfilment of promises he made during a recent visit to Liberia, said Dr. Whapoe who then lauded his colleague, Johnson Kpartipa, for the assistance rendered him.
Dr. Whapoe told farmers that the project would ensure that food is placed on their tables because “it is wrong for children to go to school on empty stomachs (because) hunger can demoralize people.”
“God has answered your prayers, because we are going to empower you. We are not here to give you bags of rice and money but we will teach you some new skills that will help eradicate poverty from this community,” he said.
He said it has always been his dream to bring people to Liberia who would help alleviate the suffering Liberians have been subjected to due to corruption and bad leadership.
In brief remarks, Gaylor Heetland, one of the investors, praised Dr. Whapoe and Kpartipa for the love they have shown the people of Liberia and assured the farmers that they would return to Liberia very soon to commence the project.