The National Coordinator of the National Cassava Coordinating Committee (NCCC), Mr. Joseph S. Morris, has lauded President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her interest in the agriculture sector, specifically in cassava value chain development in the country.
In an interview with the Daily Observer Mr. Morris said it was time for Liberians to look to the agriculture sector in their pursuit of poverty reduction, food security and economic development.
He said Liberian farmers constitute nearly 65% of the country’s population, “of which about 80% are either directly or indirectly involved in cassava farming.”
Mr. Morris said the Ministry of Agriculture has identified several priority areas for intervention, one of which is the cassava sector.
He thanked the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Moses Zinnah, for the interest shown in cassava value chain development in Liberia.
He said the NCCC has mobilized farmers in 13 of Liberia’s 15 counties, along with coordinators and district supervisors, to serve as ‘focus persons’ in the development of cassava value chain in their counties.
He explained that the NCCC has also identified producers, processors and marketers for easy access to information regarding value chain in developing Liberia.
He called on farmers across the country to support the President’s pronouncement for agricultural development programs for rural farmers, as a basis for food security and economic progress.
It may be recalled that President Sirleaf recently constituted a taskforce to boost Liberia’s agriculture sector – a committee she chairs and is co-chaired by the Minister of Agriculture.
The National Coordinator of the National Cassava Coordinating Committee is the frontrunner in overseeing European Union (EU) Cassava Value Chain Development, which is implemented by ZOA (Zionist Organization of America) and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency).
Some of its value added products are cassava chips, kanya, farina (gari), cassava bread and cassava flour.
In closing, the NCCC National Coordinator encouraged local farmers to upscale production with the intent to reduce poverty in the country.