Presidential aspirant, Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe, has assured a group of farmers in Nimba County that he would introduce mechanized farming when he is elected in 2017.
“By the grace of God, when I become president of this country by 2017, we are going to take the cutlasses from you and give you machines as your farming implements,” Dr. Whapoe declared to the excitement of the gathering.
He said his proposed party, the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT) would work with individual farmers to improve the way they grow their crops be they cash crops or food production.
Dr. Whapoe believes that the country’s farmers are not benefiting from the national resources, “because they keep doing substance farming (the same thing over and over), which no longer yields any tangible results.”
“We keep doing the same thing over and over. I was born and saw my parents farming with cutlasses, like you do today” he said as the crowd burst into laughter.
He frowned on government for doing nothing to change the situation and improve farmers’ livelihoods.
“We don’t have government, rather private enterprise because in the private enterprises, people who are part of the system get paid just like how those employed at companies get salaries.”
The presidential aspirant said it is disappointing that Liberia is unable to feed itself despite all the rich soil and swamplands, which are suitable for the cultivation of rice and other produce.
Dr. Whapoe decried that, “It is a shame for Liberians to be importing pepper, peanuts and other crops from its neighbors when we have the land space to grow those crops.”
He told the farmers that it is about time to come together and free the country from “farming-slavery to farming-prosperity.”
“You are not free when you can’t feed yourself. It is time to put an end to this. I am looking forward to a new Liberia; a Liberia that you can get free farming implements from the government; a Liberia that you will not be denied the opportunity to till the soil to better your life,” he said.
Dr. Whapoe told the farmers, mainly women that he is not going to dish out money to them as a president, rather teach them how to fish, adding, “My vision for Liberia is clear and simple. That is to acquire available farmlands and cultivate them for farmers, who would subsequently become millionaires.”
The presidential hopeful said when elected he would with the help of lawmakers from his proposed party enact a law to create an agriculture battalion in the Armed Forces of Liberia with the objective to involve the AFL into the cultivation of rice and other crops.
Dr. Whapoe has meanwhile donated 24 cutlasses and L$14,000 to the “Zokadepea Agriculture Group in Gbeseilla Town, a suburb of Ganta in Nimba County Electoral District #2.
He said the donation is part of his proposed party’s vision to liberate Liberia through agriculture.