Gongloe Says AFL Under His Watch Will End Hunger in Liberia

Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe


— “A hungry people cannot achieve anything and cannot live in peace with one another,” LPP’s political leader said as he promised to re-orientate the military if elected 

Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe has claimed that the Armed Forces of Liberia under his watch would solve the ongoing food crisis in the country.

Gongloe, the presidential candidate for the Liberian People's Party (LPP), believes that the solution to Liberia's low agricultural output is to incentivize the army to engage in mechanized farming, starting with 100 acres of rice farms in each of the fifteen counties.

“We will ensure this by making the military grow not less than one hundred acres of rice farm in each of the fifteen counties of Liberia,” Gongloe said in a statement yesterday. “A hungry people cannot achieve anything and cannot live in peace with one another because hunger generates anger.”

“We will institute a new, transformative good governance process that will enable our military to cultivate a new orientation as a capable, reliable, accountable, congenial, and trusted partner of the people in the socio-economic development of Liberia.”

While Gongloe did elaborate much on his plan, it comes as Liberia has long suffered from food insecurity due to extreme poverty and endemic inefficiencies in the country’s food and agricultural systems. 

In Liberia's most recent comprehensive food security assessment in 2018, around 18% of Liberian households were identified as moderately to severely food insecure.

Even before the Ukraine-Russia conflict impacted global commodity prices, food security conditions had worsened due to COVID-19, climate change impacts, and high post-harvest losses. Liberia's hunger level is classified as 'serious' according to the 2021 Global Hunger Index. Liberia was rated 110th out of 116 nations in terms of hunger. 

The key drivers of food insecurity then include limited availability of agricultural inputs, mechanized equipment, financial capital,  and extension services are all serious challenges.

But Gongloe strongly believes that the army,  once incentivized, is capable of spearheading his government’s transformative concept of mechanized farming, and road construction, among others.

The military, according to Gongloe, would play a far larger role in implementing his development agenda for a better Liberia if he wins the ensuing October elections.

“The AFL under a Gongloe leadership will help in spearheading our innovative approach to nation-building,” he said. “In other words, the people will experience the goodness of the army because the AFL must always be seen by the people as a force for good.”

“We strongly believe that empowering and enabling members of our military and paramilitary forces will further incentivize their upward movement on the socio-economic ladder.” 

 The AFL, Gongloe also noted, will be regularly used to assist the Ministry of Public Works with the construction of farm-to-market roads and the maintenance of all roads in order to remove the current obstacle to the freedom of movement of people and goods in most parts of Liberia during the rainy season.

The capacity of the military to protect and defend the citizenry should not be limited to events of conventional hostilities, Gongloe noted.

He added his administration will significantly upgrade the capacity of the army to play a pivotal role in the holistic transformation of the country.

“In this regard, the military will be meticulously  professionalized and sufficiently equipped and empowered in all aspects of human development.”

“We will be looking at areas such as health sciences, agriculture, education, electricity, renewable energy, information technology, cyber security, among others, so as to enable them to lead the way in creating a sweet Liberia for all Liberians by improving the socioeconomic conditions of the people,” he said.