The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, has disclosed that his entity is committing additional funding of US$25 million to Liberia’s agricultural sector over the next few years.
Dr. Nwanze’s disclosure was made after he met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and senior government officials at the Foreign Ministry on Monday, August 8, in Monrovia.
Addressing a joint press conference alongside Agriculture Minister Dr. Moses Zinnah, the IFAD President pledged his unwavering support to Liberia’s agriculture sector in order to empower rural and small-holder farmers.
Dr. Nwanze further said IFAD, which is a specialized United Nations organ, is in the country to ensure that the agricultural sector of the country is supported through its operations.
He praised the government through the Agriculture Ministry for what he termed as the progress made so far in the sector and for the good working relations between IFAD and the government.
Dr. Nwanze said IFAD believes that investing in agriculture, especially in rural and small-holder farmers, is fundamental to the growth and development of the country. He stated further that his organization is also a financial institution that empowers individuals financially, especially women and young people.
He assured that IFAD will continue to work with the Liberian government in order to ensure that poverty in Liberia is reduced through agricultural activities.
The IFAD President called on the media to propagate the information as it unfolds and ensures it reaches the people in the every corner of Liberia, mainly rural and local people.
Speaking earlier, Agriculture Minister Dr. Moses Zinnah lauded IFAD for their continued support to Liberia’s agricultural sector.
“We have had three days of fruitful discussions with farmers, lawmakers and others,” he stated.
Minister Zinnah said IFAD has always been with Liberia, long before the country’s civil war. Dr. Zinnah also pledged to work with IFAD in order to ensure that Liberia’s agricultural sector becomes vibrant.
Before Dr. Nwanze met with the President, he paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara.
During their brief discussion, he told the Foreign Minister that he was impressed with Liberian officials after attending a meeting chaired by Finance and Development Minister Boima Kamara and other Liberian government officials, including lawmakers.
“We are very glad with how the meeting went. The lawmakers were very forceful; they made some very salient points during the meeting,” Dr. Nwanze said.
Responding, Minister Kamara thanked IFAD through Dr. Nwanze for their support toward the nation’s agricultural sector.
She told the visiting UN Official that the years of civil war destroyed every sector of the country and that she had spent the last six years, with the backing of President Sirleaf, trying to put Liberia back among the comity of nations so that partners can begin to come back to Liberia.
She also used the occasion to urge IFAD to find how ways can be devised in order to encourage young people to get involved in agriculture.