Liberia: Liberia Seeks Partnership to Increase Domestic Food Production

Minister Flomo said Liberia, being a heavily import-dependent country, has challenges in sustaining its subsidy on rice.

…...At 45th session of the OACPS-EU Council Of Ministers in Brussels

Deputy Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Augustus J. Flomo, has called on the European Union to further increase partnership to domestic food production in order to help provide food safety and security for the population. 

According to a dispatch from Brussels, the Minister took part in the discussions of the Organization of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), which covered issues of strategic focus that range from partnership within member states and their links with the European Union, expansion of its partnership and visibility within the global framework, food and energy crisis, climate change and current global issues.

Flomo said Liberia, being a heavily import-dependent country, has challenges in sustaining its subsidy on rice — a critical program the country has carried out for so many years as costs of food imports continue to go higher each day, unsustainably and with uncertainty. According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis have led to the high cost in transportation and others. 

He pointed out that these crises are also major impediments that slow down domestic revenue generation, thereby reducing fiscal capacity in meeting many competing priorities that are relevant to keeping the economy stable. Flomo also thanked the EU for supporting Liberia under the Global Europe strategic program, meant to support Liberia and other OACPS members over a 5-year period.  

The Deputy Minister also highlighted during the deliberations that the Republic of Liberia is host to the largest and only untouched proportion of virgin Afro-Guinean rainforest in West Africa as an OACPS Member and the required benefit of such preservation hasn’t been fully realized.

During the session, the EU side used this opportunity to share its perspective on the “Russian war of aggression against Ukraine” and strongly condemn the attacks, which are causing infrastructure devastation and loss of lives. The EU and its Member States also expressed a commitment to work with OACPS partners to overcome the global consequences of this war of aggression by continuous support to affected OACPS countries.

The meeting was co-chaired on the EU side by Jiří Kozák, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Czechia, and on the OACPS side by Dr. Amery Browne, Minister for Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, as current OACPS Chair. 

The OACPS is a group of countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. It was previously known as the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) with the objectives for sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world's economy.  

The Liberia Delegation included Flomo; Dr. Isaac W. Nyenabo, II, Ambassador of Liberia to the BENELUX; Senve Darlington Tehmeh, Minister- Counsellor, Press and Public Affairs; and Martus K. Williams-Bangula, Atty-at-Law and Deputy head of the National Authorizing Office (NAO) of Liberia.