The president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Mr. Kamara Abdullai Kamara has urged Liberian journalists to exert more efforts in reporting on Liberia’s agricultural sector in order to improve the country’s food security.
He raised the concern Friday, May 23, at a local hotel in Monrovia.
According to Mr. Kamara, there are many issues in the sector that the media needed to report.
He named the bad road conditions, farmers’ involvement toward food production, role of government in supporting agriculture, women and youth participations in Agriculture as some of the crucial issues that the Liberian media must highlight if the country is going to become self-sufficient in food.
He said “Agriculture is very significant to the Liberian economy and therefore requires serious reporting.”
“There are diverse issues that the media could look for in the agricultural sector as statistics show that one third of the gross domestic product (GDP) of this sector makes up the economy. About 80 percent of the workforce of Liberia is involved with agriculture activities. Those are reasons why we the press should see to report on the sector,” he reiterated.
The PUL president said, “If we say citizens are making living on Agriculture and not reporting much, we probably not doing the right thing.”
He further mentioned that there is a problem to realize that half of the rice consumed in Liberia is imported and therefore it was important that the media report such issue to make Liberians invest in food production.
“Half of the food we eat in this country is imported; indicating that the country is suffering food insecurity. This is an issue that the media must not keep silent about,” he emphasized.
He said statistics also show that the number of Liberian households producing food crops has reduced drastically, noting that it is seriously affecting food production.
The PUL president disclosed that it is reported that one reason why the country is experiencing budget shortfall is because of the lack of actual revenue collection from the agricultural sector.
“If you are reporting on agriculture relating to the national budget, you need to follow the lack of revenue collection in the sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kamara urged journalists interested in reporting on Agriculture to form a network of agriculture reporters.
He said specialized agricultural reporting will help the PUL realizes its goals of adequately informing the public, adding, “The capacity of Agriculture reporters will be strengthen by the PUL.