Ellen Submits US$18.2M Loans for Agriculture, Rural Finance

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has requested the House of Representatives to ratify two financial agreements, totaling US$18.2 million.

The Loans, described as ‘Tree Crops Extension Project and the Rural Community Finance Project’ were signed between the Government of Liberia and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

“The target population will be 11,000 stakeholders of the cocoa value chain, of which 8,000 are smallholder cocoa farmers, who are members of Kuu Groups and Farmers Field Schools (FFS); approximately 2,400 additional farmers who will also benefit from supplies and market linkages and 600 others that benefit as a result of job creation,” President Sirleaf said.

“The project is also geared at enhancing access to sustainable and affordable rural financial services in Liberia, and shall benefit the economically active rural population (petty traders, smallholder farmers, food processors, local transportation, craftsmen and artisans as well as ex-combatants) who demonstrate an interest and willingness to expand their economic activities.”

Meanwhile, both loans shall be free of interest but a service charge of three fourths of one percent (0.75) per annum payable semi-annually and shall have a maturity period of forty (40) years, including a grace period of ten (10) years starting from the date of approval of the Loan by the Fund’s Executive Board. The Projects will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The two financing agreements have been forwarded to the Committees on Agriculture and Ways, Means and Finance and Judiciary for scrutiny, and to report to the House’s Plenary in one week.

In the meantime, the House has unanimously concurred with the Senate on two bills: Acts Adopting the Securities Market and the Central Securities Depository.

The bills are intended to ensuring adequate measures to prevent fraud or any other system of manipulation, and to enhance public awareness of the securities market and promote fair, orderly and transparent markets.

Furthermore, the President also submitted several bills for amendment. They included an Act to Amend the Criminal Procedure Law, Title 2 of the Liberian Code of Laws (revised) to provide for special criminal procedures for offenses involving terrorist acts.

Others are an Act to Repeal the Act to Establish Procedures for the Distribution of the United Nations List of Terrorists and Terrorist Groups; an Act to Establish Administrative Procedures for Targeted Sanctions Against the Designated Terrorist Groups and Terrorist Organizations; and an Act to Amend the New Panel Law, Title 26 of the Liberian Code of Laws (revised, chapter 14) offenses involving danger to the person, sub-chapter C, kidnapping and related offenses by repealing section 14.33, terrorism; chapter 15, offenses against property, sub-chapter C, robbery, section 15.33, hijacking; and chapter 5 offenses against property, sub-chapter G, proceeds of crime, money laundering and terrorist financing, section 15.4 terrorist financing and replacing it with a new section 14.54, entitled offenses involving terrorist acts.

The bills were submitted to the Committees on Security and Judiciary for scrutiny and to report to Plenary in one week.

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