Agriculture Needs More Support

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The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Florence Chenoweth, has called on Government to provide more support to the agriculture sector of the country.

She made the call at the close of a second U.S.-Liberia partnership dialogue meeting held in Monrovia.

According to her, Agriculture is the key to food security in both urban and rural areas of Liberia.

Min. Chenoweth explained that before the civil conflict approximately 80 percent of Liberian people got their food from farming alone.

She said Liberia is one of the most food-insecure countries in the world, with one thirdof the population undernourished.

She attributed the cause—on the part of many Liberians—to not prioritizing farming and food production.

The Minister said that after the civil conflict, scores of Liberians migrated to urban areas— especially Monrovia. In doing so they left farming undone and started making small businesses.

The Minister also noted that agriculture is one major economic sector with the potential to save the economy and create significant job opportunities that could make an impact on society. That, of course, would depend on whether government invests more to attract weary Liberians who have switched to other activities.

She said the government needs to invest in small-holder farmers since they are the ones who continue to produce food to complement the imported provisions that Liberians largely rely on nowadays.

The two-day partnership dialogue brought a consensus between the Governments of Liberia and the United States concerning the Agriculture Sector.

The working group reiterated that in order to ensure efficient land tenure reform greater efforts must be exerted to improve the availability of high quality input and ease farm-to-market access. These, they said, are key steps to promoting private sector-led development in Liberia’s Agriculture sector.

The two sides reviewed various joint initiatives in the sector and pledged to continue collaboration to improve Liberia’s policy-enabling environment for food security and nutrition, including but not limited to, the Feed the Future Initiative.

“To unlock the potential of the private sector to serve as an engine of broad-based growth, we affirm that we are committed to working bilaterally and with like-minded donor and private sector partners to expand urban and beyond-the-grid access to power—especially for those working with modern machine-based methods of farming.  Our goal is to provide reliable and affordable electricity to Liberians as quickly as possible, no matter how far from an urban center they may live,” the groups concluded.

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