The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Morgana Flomo, Jr., has lauded the people and Government of Japan for supporting Liberian farmers, to ensure food security, and noted that Japan’s food assistance to Liberia has benefited the country immensely.
Flomo made the commendation at the Ministry in Gardnersville recently, during the official handover ceremony from the Government and people of Japan to the Government and people of Liberia – of the Japanese Food Assistance for agricultural development.
The ceremony symbolizes the gains Japan, Liberia, and the World Food Program (WFP) have made to improve the lives of smallholder farmers under the Japanese bilateral project.
Minister Flomo said the program has made local farmers to increase food production, improve the system of market and increase school enrollment.
“The Liberian government is highly thankful to the Japanese government and its people for their willingness to help transform the country. This relationship has benefited Liberia in many ways,” he said.
Flomo said the WFP has been very instrumental in carrying out the program and any program that addresses the need to produce food is important to sustain peace in Liberia.
Minister Flomo however frowned on the continued importation of a huge quantity of food in the country and asked the citizens not to continue to depend on food aid, but to take agriculture seriously.
“Liberia has a great future but will not succeed if we cannot feed ourselves. This is the time to work harder to grow enough and stop asking other countries for food assistance,” he said.
Japanese Ambassador Tsutomi Himeno said his country remains committed to supporting Liberia’s developmental initiatives. Himeno said that his country’s continued assistance to Liberia has a long history in their bilateral relationship.
“To support Liberia and ensure food security for its citizens is a priority for the Government of Japan”, he said. He used the occasion to thank the beneficiaries of the project for embracing the program.
WFP Country Director Bienvenu Djossa said the food assistance from the Japanese government was aimed at supporting resilient agriculture practices that focused on community asset development and on unproductive swamp lands for staple food production.
He said that the program has assisted many smallholder farmers to increase production.
Mr. Djossa then expressed his institution’s willingness to support smallholder farmers, to ensure that Liberia ends hunger.