The Liberia Agricultural Journalists Network (LAJN) has joined other media institutions and the Liberian populace to congratulate President George Weah for his decision to appoint Ms. Jeanine Cooper to the Agriculture Ministry. This move, the organization believes, will pay off; considering her education, experience, as well as her outstanding contributions towards the country’s agriculture sector.
As the founder and manager of a micro milling operation company, FABRAR Liberia, Mrs. Jeanine Cooper, managed and transformed the company into a rice producer, supplying school-feeding and other institutional contracts and business establishments as well as retailers.
FABRAR has also been into growing rice, Liberia’s staple, through farming associations, especially women and exporting proceeds to other countries.
“We are hopeful that she will take along with her to the ministry, the motivation, vision, and passion with which she has operated her company to make Liberia self-sufficient in food production,” said LAJN’s executive director, Jefferson Massah.
As the largest body of media practitioners reporting agricultural and environmental issues in Liberia, the Liberia Agricultural Journalists Network remains committed to working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, national and international partners, and our farmers in communicating and building the necessary partnerships that will ensure a productive agriculture sector in Liberia.
Considering the current economic challenges the country is experiencing, the LAJN believes that a diversified agriculture sector with the needed budgetary support from the government is the surest way to rescue the dying economy.
The LAJN, therefore, calls on the government through the national legislature, to make the appropriate budgetary allotment to the Ministry of Agriculture. “This will enhance the effectiveness of the ministry, thereby increasing agriculture productivity,” the organization says.
Agricultural extension (also known as agricultural advisory services) plays a crucial role in boosting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of pro-poor economic growth.
The LAJN, cognizant of the role extension officers play in achieving food security, is therefore calling on Minister designate Cooper to place premium attention on extension services at the ministry, bolster support to agricultural extension officers who act as middlemen between critical research information and farmers.
The LAJN also wants the ministry to make effective use of the media (electronic/print/social) to communicate her programs and policies with farmers through regular programs in the local languages. This will help make farmers more effective in their farming endeavors.
LAJN is the national network of journalists passionate about reporting on agriculture, environment and rural development issues with membership spread across Liberia. In July 2018, LAJN attained international accreditation from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) as full member during its congress in the Netherlands.
The International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) is the leading global body of agricultural journalists and communicators and has membership in 50 countries with Liberia being one of the newest.
LAJN with a membership base of over 50 print, online and community radio journalists currently runs a news website as a repository for agricultural news and information about Liberia.