Pres. Weah Launches “Pro-Poor Rice” Distribution

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Pro-poor rice recently imported to Liberia

Says “Agriculture is Key,” 

President George Weah says agriculture has got no substitute in national efforts to obtaining food security and maintaining a healthy population, an Executive Mansion release has said.

Food production towards self-sufficiency, the President said, is a centerpiece of his government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, and he would leave no stone unturned to achieve this goal.

According to the release, the President spoke on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, when he officially launched the distribution of over 200 metric tons of rice, totaling 80,000 bags at the Freeport of Liberia.

Though the public is yet to know the source of the “Pro-Poor rice,” the President said his administration is giving ample attention to support and encourage investment in the agriculture sector, particularly the production of food, to reduce reliance on the importation of the country’s staple food.

A Liberian-owned company, TRH Trading, in partnership with the government through the Ministry of Commerce, imported an initial consignment of the Pro-Poor rice that will be sold wholesale to Liberian businesses through the Commerce Ministry. The local businesses will in turn do the retail sale.

President Weah said making rice, which is regarded in Liberia as a “political commodity”, available and affordable for Liberians, is the preoccupation of his government, and this will be achieved to help reduce the high cost of the country’s staple.

“I am very happy that we can begin to distribute this low-cost rice at a time our people need it most in the wake of the festive season,” Weah said, adding, “Pro-poor rice, as we call it, is a dream come true. While working to meet the needs of our people; it is important to stress that returning to the soil is the best way forward and we will support this effort as much as possible,” the President said.

President Weah and officials looking at the quality of the Pro-Poor Rice

The President noted that the importation of rice has always been a major concern to him and his administration, promising that he would work around the clock to make sure that Liberian businesses play an integral part in food production and other activities that will benefit the citizens and the country.

“I am happy for the supply of the Pro-Poor rice on the market,” he said, noting, “We all know rice is very important for our people as it is the staple food. We will do our best to always have it on the market and sold for a price that our people can afford.”

He continued, “I know whatever I do, I often do to the best of my ability, aware of the challenges that require focus and practice. And by the grace of God, the best always comes out of whatever I try to do.”

President Weah thanked Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh and his team for leading the right effort that has stimulated the involvement of Liberian-owned companies in the importation of rice on the market.

This, the President said, has helped in buttressing the supply of rice on the Liberian market.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Hahaha Is this how you “reduce reliance on the importation of the country’s staple food (rice)”?? By importing 80,000 bags of PRO POOR rice and selling them at “low cost”?? Please..The continued importation of PRO POOR rice to be “donated”, will inhibited the development of Liberia’s agriculture sector.

    Instead of continuing to rely on “donations” of imported PRO POOR rice, Liberia need to reform its restrictive rice importation policies and get rid of the government’s PRICE CONTROLS on agriculture commodities (rice, pig feet, etc).

    Getting rid of government’s price controls, and opening up the market to more competition will lift more Liberians out of poverty than receiving donation of Pro Poor rice from ANYBODY!!

  2. Well, something is about to crack open. Pro poor is beginning to show its face. A humane face. I will give credit instead of an outright condemnation. There is a lesson that all of us must learn. The lesson is that “some things must start experimentally on a small scale”.

    Economically, if there’s an abundance of rice on the Liberian market, the cost of rice will decrease. Fact! Also, if there’s more rice than befire, consumers will have the choice of substituting fried cassava with baked fish instead of rice. Chinese people eat more rice than the people of Liberia. But, there are substitutes in the Chinese diet. A Chinese family may eat lomein instead of rice on any given day. Liberians need to learn how to substitute fufu or GB or breadfruit for rice. Of course, that happens on a small scale in Nimba and Bong counties…maybe in two or more countries.
    The importation of rice is not the only effective area of Weah’s pro poor agenda. Other areas of pro poor will crack open. Patience! But let’s give credit where credit is due.

  3. “A Liberian-owned company , TRH Trading , in partnership with the Liberian through the Ministry of Commerce , imported initial consignment of the Pro Poor rice that will be sold wholesale to Liberian businesses through the Commerce Ministry. The local businesses will in turn do the retail”. So why this plan to once again not a plan comings from Emmanuel Shaw as in the case of the established oil company by President Doe and Emmanuel Shaw outside of the recognized oil importing agency of LPRC ? If this is not Mr. Shaw’s personal idea , than the alleged plan is one that exists between George Weah and the Liberian-owned businessman as Partners in a political cultural clandestine deal . Why should the Minister of Commerce Mr. Wilson( never mind the last name) be appointed to sell rice for the alleged partners of Weah and his business partner ? Why not through the Procurement process whereby an independent source is given the right to sell the so-called pro poor rice and not have total government involvement in this corrupt clandestine deal to fool the citizens that they are purchasing rice from the Ministry, but instead the Ministry is sell the rice for George Weah and company . You all remember the oil deal between President Doe and Emmanuel Shaw, the deal that had LPRC purchasing oil from the alleged company and selling it to the general public. You all are aware of this ugly act . President Tolbert was accused of raising the price of imported in order for the Liberians to buy rice from the President and his family. At least the price on imported rice was high, with the intention of having and forcing Liberians to buy their own produced rice . But this clandestine ugly act is meant to be the opposite. Pray tell the Liberian people how the Ministry of Commerce will sell the pro poor rice and collect the proceeds? Ministry with its own wearhouse ? And how about the proceeds? You guys been had again by the con artist George Weah. Seems like they will never, never learn.

  4. This is rice politics for votes. This means Liberians’ brains are in their bellies. Once you fill their bellies they stop thinking and complaining. Create jobs and let workers take their money and buy what they want. Rice politics is not sustainable unless Liberians have put their future in rice.

  5. It is very easy to be sitting on the fence across the ocean, and making negative comments about every efforts being made by National Government to improve the situation in Liberia.
    Many of us know that the best way foward is a vigorous national food production in Liberia. However, it is said that dry meat is sweet, but what will you be eating, while the meet is getting dry?
    In mine view, the importation of the Pro-poor Rice is a great step forward. This short term plan is intended to first stabilized the Rice Market, before moving on to a long term plan.
    I am not presently in Liberia, but I sincerely appreciate this effort by the Liberian Government.

  6. Since Rice is a political commodity, then the issue of Rice must be decided politically.
    The Liberian Consumers do not give a dog nose about who is responsible for the importation of Rice into Liberia. Our major concern have to do with quality and affordability.
    I stand to be corrected.

  7. Folks, let me keep this discourse as elementary as possible: local production of rice will not be successful if the market is flooded with cheap imported rice. We have the ability and the soil to produce rice on an industrialized scale locally. The government must invest in local producers. The hidden agenda here is someone is making a significant profit in this deal. We can not continue to fool the people of Liberia. When will this corrupt behavior ever end? Was there a bidding process in the selection of the importer? This truly saddens me as a Liberian. May God help our nation. Let’s remember that wealth gained on the backs of the poor will not benefit the violators.

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