At a recent technical review and validation meeting held in Monrovia for the second generation of the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) of Liberia, known as Liberia Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (LASIP) II, the Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Mariatou Njie, re-emphasized her organization commitment in working with the government and her partners to achieve sustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries, livestock for food and nutrition security enhancement in the country.
The two-day technical meeting was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) with funding from the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) and supported by the EU/FAO partnership Food and Nutrition Security Impact Resilience Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST).
Njie said that gathering of agricultural sector partners to formulate the LASIP-II is a clear manifestation of the commitment of the government for meeting the Malabo Declaration and the importance it places on transforming the sector in achieving food self-sufficiency.
“FAO, as ECOWAS’ key partner, has been and is still actively involved in the process at regional level and in member countries, using the ECOWAS as entry point to provide technical support,” she said.
The FAO Head of Mission stated that the Liberian government through the MoA in consultation with key stakeholders drafted the LASIP II which a comprehensive investment plan for the overall sector in 2017.
The plan, according to her, integrates food security and nutrition; the development of competitive agricultural value chains; natural resources management; research and development as well as institutional strengthening.
“Through LASIP II, the government of Liberia is paving the way for ending hunger by 2025 as committed by Heads of States and Governments of the African Union in the Malabo Declaration on “Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for shared prosperity and improved Livelihoods,” she added.
The FAO Representative urged stakeholders to ensure that the Investment Plan is relevant to meeting the emerging global and regional initiative initiatives. She mentioned that in doing so, the implementation of the plan would require commitment, harmonization, alignment, coordination, accountability and political will.
She said that FAO as a key partner to the government in the agriculture sector is already working on supporting urban agriculture, forestry, the management of natural resources through the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) of Land, Forestry and Fisheries in the Context of National Food Security, improved crop and livestock production, development of aqua-culture, improvement of informed decision making with the revamp of the agriculture statistics as well as the planned support for the establishment of food and nutrition security information system.
In his opening remarks during the workshop, the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Mogana S. Flomo, thanked the partners for their commitment in working with the government to achieve its Pro-poor agenda.
Dr. Mogana added that the government priority to improve the lives of its citizens cannot be achieved without investing in the agriculture sector. He added that one of the top priorities for the government is to eradicate poverty and achieve food security; in doing so agriculture should not be underestimated.
European Union (EU) Program Manager, Hubertus Blom, said that agriculture development is one of the foundation the EU is built on, “this is one of the reasons the EU has committed itself in supporting the government achieve its development priorities.”
Mr. Blom added that the EU is actively supporting the CAADP that provides the overarching goals and targets for agricultural development over the 2015-2025 period.