AgricPower, Africa-Liberia, an international partner, has announced its intention to make a concerted effort through cooperation of like-minded people and organizations that are prepared to harness their skills, knowledge, contacts and money, to form an investment platform which can leverage the full potential of agriculture in Liberia.
This effort, according to AgricPower Africa-Liberia, in five years, will transform the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — the total value of everything produced by all the people and companies in the country — to over US$10 billion.
AgricPower said while at present Liberians face an uphill battle to engage in any aspect of Agriculture because of series of intervening factors, which are so huge and complicated that a single individual who is passionate about agriculture may not have enough money, time, contacts, skills and other resources to leverage the potentials in Agriculture to create wealth, it has the expertise to work over the problem.
It added that no non-governmental organization (NGO) can leverage the skills, knowledge, contacts and money of participating partners to create a modern and sustainable agribusiness that will compete in the global market place.
“With the ‘grouped’ resources, the related businesses will be able to engage the services, expertise and technology of world leading players in agribusiness to create world class agro-industrial villages across the country,” it said.
AgricPower Liberia said through its platform, it will be able to create jobs for youth and women, and provide improved technologies to smallholder farmers to cultivate large hectares, as well as assist food processors to access export markets and also work with the government to access loans to make Liberia self-reliant in food.
The program which has existed in Nigeria for the last five years will provide rural farmers with technological skills relevant to their work and practical agricultural information, including market prices. It will empower women with the skills they need to advance or create an agribusiness while creating jobs. It generates additional income and in turn keeps children in school.
AgricPower chairman of Africa, Aroms Emmanuel Aigbehi made the disclosure to journalists on Tuesday after brief a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture in Gardnersville to familiarize the project.
Aigbehi said since their arrival in the country they have had meetings with government ministries and agencies on how the agriculture investment will benefit the people of Liberia, adding that there are plans to also meet with President Weah.
“Our organization is comprised of African citizens from the diaspora who are interested in returning home to invest more in agriculture in order to transform the lives of subsistence farmers and make the continent food secure,” he informed journalists.
According to him, their source of funding comes through the members of the organization and the European community that have confidence in working with them over the years by providing grants to assist farmers.
“There is no doubt that this program can benefit Africa and its people. It is a major project that the European Union (EU) is willing to finance. It has succeeded in Nigeria for the past years and will not only be introduced in Liberia but in Angola, Ghana and the Ivory Coast,” he added.
Aigbehi added, “by collaborating with our partners all over the world, we can provide the needed education, resources and encouragement to help the large population of Liberian youth and women to be productive in agriculture and be gainfully employed in the next 24 months. This we know will provide further economic and political stability in the country.”
Sayma S. Cephus, Deputy Agriculture Minister for Regional Development, Research and Extension, expressed gratitude for the program.