To Avert Another ‘Rice Riot’, CDC to Disestablish Rice as ‘Political Commodity’

39
3273
Minister Tweah was Liberia's 171st Independence Day speaker. (Photo: Executive Mansion)

By William Q. Harmon and Robin Dopoe, Jr.

It is often said that a nation and people who do not learn from their history are bound to repeat mistakes of the past, and most times these have deadly consequences. It is against this backdrop that the government of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is endeavoring to put an end to what it considers the “Reign of Imported Rice as a Political Commodity.”

According Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, who served as this year’s 171st National Independence Day Orator, the issue of rice being a hotly discussed political topic in the country must be addressed. “We must put an end to the importation of rice in this country,” he declared.

Rice, which is the country’s staple food, has an infamous history in Liberia as it is the very commodity which contributed to the civil unrest that overwhelmed the entire country for decades, leading to the death of over 250,000 Liberians and the destruction of the nation’s infrastructure.

It all started in 1979, when then President William R. Tolbert, Jr., attempted to increase the price of imported rice to protect domestic rice production, Tweah narrated.

Politicians, according to him, used this to incite a demonstration, accusing the Tolbert regime of increasing the price on imported rice so that his private domestic rice venture could profit from the increase.

Minister Tweah further argued that, “Granted this was true, had this been possible, the Liberian economy would have benefited. The capacity to grow rice domestically would have been resident with Liberians and the monies generated from this production would have supported the domestic economy.”

What Minister Tweah did not mention was that Daniel Tolbert, brother of President Tolbert, was a major importer of rice, giving the two brothers checkmate power over the commodity such that, either way, one of them benefited handsomely. 

Minister Tweah believed what has emerged from the April 14, 1979, episode is the enthronement of imported rice as some kind of “political commodity,” whose procurement is largely in the hands of non-Liberians, because governments in the past have tended not to trust Liberian entrepreneurs to import the commodity.

He noted that the CDC Government must debunk the myth that imported rice is a political commodity by moving swiftly to scaling up investment in domestic rice and food production.

According to Minister Tweah, the government should work with key stakeholders in the private sector and development partners to achieve this outcome because it makes both macroeconomic and food security sense.

“To make Liberia a food secured nation remains one of the biggest ambitions of the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for prosperity and development,” Mr. Tweah said.

“Today, we import about 26 million bags of rice every year at the cost of about US$110 million. Assuming a population of four million rice-eating Liberians, this amounts to more than six bags of rice per person per year,” he told his audience, comprising diplomats and development partners.

“We can grow this rice in Liberia. According to the experts, we have more than 600,000 hectares of land conducive for rice production. Studies show that with the right investment and the development of a rice value chain, we can achieve food security over the next six years. This is one of the biggest ambitions of the Pro-poor Agenda to develop the country,” he said.

To achieve this goal, Tweah noted that it will require Liberians to begin shifting their diet toward home-grown food and their preference for locally manufactured products.

He indicated that the government intends to partner with the private sector and development partners to develop agriculture value chains across the major food crops in Liberia – rice, cassava, vegetables, plantain etc.

Prior to the 1940s, rice importation was banned in Liberia, “so we do know Liberians have not always depended on imported rice,” he said.

“Once the means of transformative domestic production are assured, and the domestic market becomes competitive, the optimal policy would be to raise the tariff on imported rice to protect the domestic rice markets,” Minister Tweah added.

Under such a policy, he said, rice importers would have the incentive to invest in domestic rice production, leading to the ultimate solution of the politics of rice in the country.

Minister Tweah assured Liberians that the government is committed to helping local agro-entrepreneurs to improve their production.

He said government, in the next several weeks, will launch its Pro-poor Agenda for prosperity and development plan into which all stakeholders are currently making their final input.

“This agenda provides the roadmap for addressing Liberia’s long term economic problems. It will bring all actors in the Liberian economy together to address the problem of value addition and expansion of the private sector,” he said.

No problem bigger than corruption

As of yesterday, President Weah and lieutenants had yet to declare their assets, which would have been the first test of ensuring transparency and accountability in the new administration, in spite of Minister Tweah’s assurance that the CDC government will intensify the fight against corruption.

“Corruption has been a root cause of the conflicts that have run through our history. This generation of Liberians and this new government must renew its pledge to fight and end corruption,” he said.

The first step toward this goal, he noted, is to abolish the culture of impunity that has surrounded the misuse of public funds. “This means we have to give more teeth and meaning to anti-corruption institutions. These institutions are the watchdogs that ensure we spend public resources for the benefit of all Liberians,” he said.

He said President Weah has promised that under his leadership, those who misuse public funds will have no place in his government. “Such persons must face the full weight of the law. This is certainly reassuring to all our countrymen and our development partners who provide important resources for our national development.”

39 COMMENTS

  1. Liberians are not being fed by the government. The citizens struggle to feed themselves with the price of rice
    is at its peak while the government misappropriate tax payers dollars and other income that should have been used for development purpose and to alleviate poverty .It is shameful and disgraceful that a nation of just 4.5 million people can not feed themselves. The government must prioritize agriculture.

  2. An Anonymous economist once said, “At best, outside aid can provide only a margin over and above what people are doing for themselves. It can be the margin between failure and success, but only when there is substantial local effort. And there can be such an effort only when a nation has a will to develop: when there is a drive within the country itself to improve the living standards of its people, and a government which reflects that drive.”

    I watched Minister Tweah fiery 171st Independence Day Speech in its entirety on YouTube. He said all the right things about Liberia’s past failures and how collectively all Liberians could work together to jump-start Liberia’s broken economy.

    However, during Min. Tweah’s passionate deliberation he noted, “Corruption has been a root cause of the conflicts that have run through our history. This generation of Liberians and this new government must renew its pledge to fight and end corruption.”

    If this government wants to be taken seriously, then it has to lead by example by first requesting all government officials to declare their assets starting with the president. It is the law.

    If there is monopoly (be it political or economic) on importation of rice by few rice cartels in Liberia, why not break up this monopoly by opening up the rice market for any Liberian who has the means to import rice?
    All potential rice importers should follow the Ministry of Commence guidelines and inspection to make sure that unsafe rice products are not imported into the country. This will increase competition thus bringing down the price of rice while government works out the modalities of subsidizing farmers to grow locally produce rice and other cash crops.

    Another problem in Liberia is, over the years the Liberian government has become too complacent due to its over-reliance on foreign aid thus depriving the country from developing a robust self-sufficient domestic economy. Liberia is currently suffering economically from a withdrawal from aid syndrome because of its past over-reliance on foreign aid ….which is depleting rapidly under this new government.

    Furthermore, our three branches of Government have to work efficiently and expeditiously. If one branch or two branches of the government is the weakest link, then it is impossible to have a wholesome political, social, and economic functioning society.

    There are tremendous problems facing Liberia:

    Liberia is too dependent on extractive industries. Liberia has no control over these exploited industries when prices fluctuate on the global market. For example, when the price of gold, or, iron ore goes down, then Liberia fragile economy goes in the red.

    Liberia does not add value to its extracted raw material because our natural resources are traded unprocessed and returned to Liberia as processed (finished) goods at a higher price.

    Liberia lacks technical skilled man-power to develop the country. Liberia lacks infrastructure (industrial plants, facilities, road connectivity). These can be remedied speedily by building more technical colleges and importing technical instructors from Philippines, Sri Lanka and India. Or, by sending many Liberians to these English speaking countries for expedited technical training and specialized education.

    Liberia is blessed with beautiful coastal area. These are prime locations for future industrialization by setting up special economic zones around these port cities (Harper, Greenville, & Buchanan).

    Yes, Minister Tweah, no one person has monopoly of ideas but there are many good development and international economists in Africa who could be contracted to help you and your economic team strategize in rebooting Liberia’s failing economy.

    I suggest contacting the former President of African Development Bank Dr. Donald Kaberuka of Rwanda; Dr. Dambisa Moyo of Zambia; and last but not least, a renowned Kenyan economist: Anzetse Were.

    Happy 171 Independence Day Liberia!!!!!! “Yes We Can Min.Tweah!”

  3. The declaration and renewed pledge to fight and discourage corruption is welcoming news. It would have been more reassuring if Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, had mention the mechanisms the government will put in place to accomplish this feat. The curbing of corruption is a daunting task that plagued several past administrations. Faced with a contracting economy, this task may prove even more challenging. Nevertheless, we applaud this bold first step!

  4. Hey Minister Tweah, will putting “an end to the importation of rice in this country,” encourage a corresponding INCREASE in local production?? Please.. It will simply encourage smuggling !!

    Look. The reason why rice importation have survived this long is because it’s CHEAPER to IMPORT rice than produce it locally (Liberia). Beside that, shouldn’t Liberians be free to spend their money in whatever peaceful ways they choose to, without busybody like YOU telling WHERE they can buy their rice?? Liberia is a free country! It’s none of your damn business whether I buy my rice from Sanniquellie or Sri Lanka!!

  5. I often write on the feature of Liberia, and the foreseeable greatness we can be, if we, Liberian truly want to be self-reliance. I said sometimes ago, that a nation that cannot feed itself, is subject to humiliation in the face others. To be people, in our own country, Liberian have to take the responsibility of feeding themselves. We cannot allow our prime staple, to be a political tools that can be used by both, politicians and investors to push us around. Politicians gave monopolies to investors to HOARD our staples and inflate prices at will, and line their pockets.

    The average meal of a typical Liberian composed of more than 75% of items that are imported. Besides the pepper and palm oil, or sometimes the meat, the rest are imported from over seas. A typical Liberian stomach is held hostage by foreign investors. No country on earth can survive going this way. It is like we are living in a displaced people camps, or refugees camps, where the inhabitants are depending on rations.

    The solution to our problem of depending on rice, is to grow more rice. The total population of Liberia is around 4.5 million, and spared over a 43,000 sq. miles. This is just a little more over the South East Asian country of Laos, and .25% less than Taiwan. but both of these countries have more population than Liberia. The population of Taiwan is 23.75 million and Laos is 6.8 million. We import Rice from both of these countries. If our government can allocate a large portion of land and turn it to commune mechanized farming, like some Asians countries, Liberian rice problem will be solved in less than 2 years. Liberians need not change their diet. Liberians Government have to be serious, when it comes to self-reliance.
    A portion of land, like the size of Magibi or Montserrado County, can solve this whole rice issue. The technology is there, our brown brothers in Asia have the technology, why can we bring them in to train and start mechanized commune farming.

    The Rice Issues in Liberia is like the fossil fuel industries in The USA. Alternatives sources of fuel are available: windmills, clean coal, electric cars, solar power etc. But some folks in congress are receiving fossil fuel(oil giants and Coal Miners) lobbyist money, so they are constrained to talk.

    The average Liberian stomach is being politicized, therefore; the country cannot FEED IT SELF.
    My thought.

  6. Self sufficiency is the answer. Liberians should change their diet (staple) and try other alternatives such as salad ,bananas, plaintain, maize and cassava (Hello Nimba and Grand Bassa), irish potatoes etc.. I guess this rice issue is not the concern of Nimba, Grand Bassa as they mostly swallow (GB and fufu)! Haha that was meant as a joke as the Liberian man rice palava too hard!

    On a serious note Agriculture on an industrial scale (modernize agriculture) is the answer! Liberia has the potential of producing far more food than it can consume, what is needed is resources!

  7. Corrections: the act of commune farming doesn’t anyway mean that I approve of communist- style take over of government. It only served the collective effort of everyone working together to grow more Rice on a large scale to help feed ourselves. I see it worked, that’s the reason I m advocating.

  8. After 171 years of existence as a nation we are still talking about rice production. When will we start talking about making wheelbarrow, or offering a degree in computer science at the University of Liberia? Liberia oh Liberia, where did you go wrong when you decided to be an independent nation? What does independent mean to you? One writer wrote on this page that Liberians are like displaced or refugees waiting for the next rations. I strongly believe that statement; since 1822 Liberians have never stop been refugees and displaced people. We have lived on rations since the first settlers stepped foot on the soil. It is both shameful and disgraceful to be calling ourselves independent when others people have to feed, protect, and give us medicine when we are sick. We all love where we come from, but one gets tired waiting for change when the change agents themselves need to be changed. So I ask the question, is there no where like home as we Africans always like to quote? I will say that there are places in this world where it doesn’t take 171 years for people to change. Remember Singapore, Rwanda, South Korea, and even China? I rest my case.

    • Dear Mr. Parker ,
      I understand your arguments and I often reason that way as well. But, you know, those nations you mentioned will accept change easily than us. The average Liberian doesn’t often think long term. We just want to enjoy here and now! While others are trying to read to pass an exam, the average Liberian will figure out how to bribe and “pass” a test/exam.

      We are proud of being Liberians, but have nothing to show for it ,and oh , our politicians know how to exploit us/our ignorance! We have to break this “yoke” by aligning ourselves with the rest of the “progressive” world.

      I can suggest this, It might be a good idea, to create an organization to bring in among others pensioned volunteers professionals professors (emeritus ,if available) and students (thesis level) in every field (that could include teacher trainers and teachers from advanced societies) to mentor Liberians in various fields. I believe if the government do it’s homework here, we will be better served! We need an independent education system, GoL , get us out of the WAEC/WASSCE system.We need to incorporate “BWI” (vocational training as elective) in every High School. Science and Mathematics should be an order of the day! I notice many of our students are afraid of maths and science courses. Without Science and Maths (includes Statistics) you cannot excel in any field,yes that includes driving as well! When I drive usually sit on a vehicle( heading out of town) , I see many reckless drivers performing overtaking maneuvers in curves (especially right curves where the likelihood of accident is high) either to get away faster or to impress their passengers of their driving skills. If these drivers had any sense of angular velocity and vehicle dynamics (moving body) in a semi circular or circular path, they won’t put their lives and that of their vehicle occupants in danger. It’s just common calculations, and you’ll see the points!

      We can’t entirely blame our lack of knowledge/ability to research on the school system, not everything is learned in school , most average literate persons in Liberia have cell phones with an internet capability, courtesy of China (Thank you China ha ha ). Do research , learn more than you are thought, don’t let yourselves be defined by the curriculum. If we have such a generation in government, we shall progress!We should learn to be critical/analytical of what we read. Don’t believe every facebook video you view, be critical , always perform a silent ” hypothesis testing”/be critical of any information you get, or you will unknowingly mislead others! ( By the way, I am still wondering how Matilda Newport “scared” the Royal Navy , and what brand of “tobacco” she was drawing on lol). When we come on here too and read articles, we have to be critical as well ( I must admit, I sometimes let my guards down on here because I trust the Brand name lol).

      On a serious note , Liberians need to take to their books, hold their stewards to task (even impeach them or demand for their resignation) and not elect them the next time if they want to run. They will be forced to change their course of action and be better people, otherwise , business as usual!

  9. I admire the idea of the late President Tolbert on the rice vision in Liberia which could have promoted local production of rice and consumption; however the implementation of said idea by the Tolbert government was the immediate downfall of the government. Price inreasement of rice directly benefited the Tolberts and their associates as they were large importers of rice in the 70s. What needed to be done was to decrease the importation of rice and increase and promote the production of rice and other local stables. This idea is the ultimate approach that has made Dakote rich in Nogeria and empowered more Nigerians through Jobs skill development. Olusegun Obasanjo government put into place measures to reduce the importation of cement and he Dakote was given the green light to carry on mass local cement production that has given opportunities to Nigerians. When the agricultural space is opened in Liberia from the connectivity of roads and financed alguritural programs, government must began to either cancel out the rice monopoly if there is one that could enable liberians purchase rice by will and freedom of price or steadily reduce rice importation and subsequently increase local rice production through Gov programs and worthy citizen effort. This could be a strong signal on the part of our beloved CDC government stepping up to feed her own people. Also a Liberinazation policy task force must be set up to legally enforce the Libernazarion policy because Liberians cannot be constantly contant spectators in their own economy while so called foreigners emerged from nowhere to run our daily economic affairs.

  10. Mr. Call Me John Doe,
    You are beginning to sound like Bah of Australia. Like you, Bah suggested once that because the Kpelle tribe is the largest in Liberia, therefore Kpelle should be thought throughout the republic. Bah always talks about the usefulness of science in Liberia. That’s a credit to him! But when Bah deviated from Science in order to talk about the issue of langua franca, I immediately knew that woman was involved. He tried to impress a beautiful Kpelle girl and that’s why he suggested something like that. Hope it worked for him.
    So let’s take a look at your verbal attacks which amount to misdemeanors or low form of what is called “micro aggression”. Not in verbitim:

    * Liberians should change their diet from eating too much rice to basic foods like vegetable salads, bananas, plantains, yuca (cassava) maize, etc.

    Questions: Call Me John Doe…are you a nutritionist? How could you do something like that to us? You really want Liberians to scale back on eating rice? You could be dislodged from your job young man.

    * The Bassans and the Nimbaians are not spared by your war of words either. You accuse them of eating too much cassava, in the form of GB for the Nimbaians and then I guess fufu for the Bassans. Lol.

    Call Me John Doe, your attack on the Bassans and Nimbaians is unforgiven. It’s all Bahesque! Your fierce attack on the two giant groups above will cause you trouble. Don’t call a Bassa or a Nimba lady for a date soon until your peccadillos are forgiven.
    On a positive and serious note, I strongly agree with you though. Here’s why. As times change, people ought to change. Before 1847 and even up to now, “subsistence farming” has been the mainstay of our farmers. When farmers do subsistence farming, production of foods is done on a low level. So since subsistence farming has not done us any good on a grand scale, we ought to change with the times. Large scale rice farms will do the trick.

    Hang in there.

    • Yes Sir! As you got the joke, it was just a good old joke! I like to throw in humor here and then! You know F.Hney, when I started reading , I thought for a while … Wait a minute, the regular Bassa and Nimba guy might think, “What concerns us about all this rice talk? Haha and I believe the representatives of both counties will have much extra time on their hands when their colleagues from the “rice eating counties” try to figure out a solution to the rice shortage problem (lol).

    • F.Hney, you are a man of letters, those small omissions/typos don’t define you. All regular posters here know your capability!A few lines into your posts , a man worth his salt knows the man behind the keyboard! Personally, I don’t worry about the grammar ( am a lazy writer, and even though I repost often, I just care about the message getting across lol) but the message gets across! We are not the professional journalists doing this for a living , just contributors but I understand you might be the perfectionist when it comes to “popular literature”.

  11. A great Liberian mind is some where out there in Mid-Western part of the United States called Chicago, Illinois. He’s like a mentor. He’s called F. Hney. It was not easy from the beginning, when we first encounter each other, however; as time goes on, I realized that wisdom comes with age. One can be young with all the knowledge, but reckless. It takes another one with more experience guidance ship. So, Mr. F. Hney, you are welcome to critique my comment at anytime, along with any other readers. I m learning as we go along. I appreciate you greatly.

    From: Sydney University, Science Bldg.

  12. Our Liberian officials are good at giving lengthy speeches and yet we practically see no concrete result. Where are the incentives to promote greater rice production even for the poorest farmers? Why are we growing the size of our government and adding more and more requirements to get anything done? Try getting farm implements/tools and equipment into Liberia as a private citizen to promote mechanized agriculture and technology as see how many “roadblocks” and fees you have to pay. Our #1 roadblock is CORRUPTION and#2 is ACCOUNTABILITY. How many government worker go to work on time, provide efficient/courteous service for an honest day pay? Where are the roads? where is electricity(primary emphasis on solar technology) and safe drinking water? Isn’t it a joke that the Liberian Water and Sewage group want to charge a fee to private well owners for selling water to other households when you same corporation cannot provide water and sewage service to 80% of the population. What a Joke.

    • You can’t be more right Sir! We knows the hurdles/roadblocks you guys face when you attempt to help us improve our country/your country. It is very sad!

      • You can’t be more right Sir! We know the hurdles/roadblocks you guys face when you attempt to help us improve our country/your country. It is very sad!

  13. I see this speech as too grandiose, too late. This is what was needed from the inception of this government on January 22. A speech to motivate the people, inspire the people and give them hope for a better and brighter future. But this absurdity of an agenda referred to as “pro-poor” when in fact there has been no programs or policies to benefit poor people, is a mockery and insult to poor people.

    • I mostly agree with you Mr. Synder! However, I believe there is still time to change our “heading” (strategy) and realign with the “runway” for a new landing attempt in this stormy weather. Bad news is, engine number 1 is now on “fire” (bad economy) and we essentially have a “right” engine failure. The instruments (indicators) on board this aircraft are all reading wrongly. You have already called in “Mayday” on your first landing attempt ; Mayday, Mayday, Mayday , right engine failure! (The President and his crew’s acknowledgement that our economy is bad). They initiated emergency proceedures ( cut off engine number 1 ; by getting loans, but guess what, the engine is still on fire and there is a high likelihood of the fire spreading (the already grave situation worsening, due to mismanagement and putting the country in even more debt and problems). Question is will the loan solve the whole problem?

      Air Traffic Control [ATC ] (Experienced financial experts et al. as well as good governance on their part {ability for the pilot and his crew to follow ATCs advice and use the best of their experience in all honesty with the passengers, the Liberian people at heart } is our only hope of landing this Boeing-747 CDC flight 003 (they won the election the third time).

      Captain Weah, with some flight hours under his belt from a DC-3 (the Senate and the international sports scene) is now having the tough job of Landing a Boeing-747 (which he mostly flew from a simulator and has been flying since January 2018 ) with several passengers on board (the Liberian people, and our lives depends on his piloting skills, we are nervous right now). Should ATC and the Airline company (Liberian Airways) bring in Boeing-747 instructors to assist with the landing? Will Captain Weah and his crew members follow instructions from ATC and these expects to land this thing down safely? Remember , many people bought tickets for different Airlines , that is to say that Liberian people voted for different parties but their flight got cancelled and they got placed on CDC flight 003. In any case, the Captain Weah has to land the aircraft safely for everyone to go home safely. I stop here , because we are still trying to find a solution as to how to land this plane. ( I must admit this is a simplistic description of the horrors and stress pilots go thru in an emergency situation).

      Captain Weah, the ball is in your court! Our lives depends on you landing this plane safely. Take good advice and use your best piloting skills.

      • SORRY ABOUT THE REPOST

        I mostly agree with you Mr. Snyder! However, I believe there is still time to change our “heading” (strategy) and realign with the “runway” for a new landing attempt in this stormy weather. Bad news is, engine number 1 is now on “fire” (bad economy) and we essentially have a “right” engine failure. The instruments (indicators) on board this aircraft are all reading wrongly. You Captain Weah, have already called in “Mayday” on your first landing attempt ; Mayday, Mayday, Mayday , right engine failure! (The President and his crew’s acknowledgement that our economy is bad). They initiated emergency procedures ( cut off engine number 1 ; by getting loans, but guess what, the engine is still on fire and there is a high likelihood of the fire spreading (the already grave situation worsening, due to eventual mismanagement, putting the country in even more debt and problems). Question is will the loan solve the whole problem?

        Air Traffic Control [ATC ] (Experienced financial experts et al. as well as good governance on their part {ability for the pilot and his crew to follow ATCs advice and use the best of their experience in all honesty with the passengers, the Liberian people at heart } is our only hope of landing this Boeing-747 CDC flight 003 (CDC won the elections the third time) is watching closely and is willing to render assistance as required.

        Captain Weah, with some flight hours under his belt from a DC-3 ( a much smaller and older aircraft depicting the Senate and the international sports scene in this illustration) is now having the tough job of Landing a Boeing-747 (which he mostly flew from a simulator and has been flying for real since January 2018 ) with several passengers on board (the Liberian people, and our lives depends on his piloting skills, we are nervous right now). Should ATC and the Airline company (Liberian Airways , representing the stakeholders, the nation at large ) bring in Boeing-747 instructors to assist with the landing? Will Captain Weah and his crew members follow instructions from ATC and these experts to land this thing down safely? Remember , many people bought tickets from different Airline Companies , that is to say that Liberian people voted for different parties but their flight got cancelled and they got placed on CDC flight 003. In any case, the Captain Weah has to land the aircraft safely for everyone to go home in one piece. I stop here , because we (stakeholders) are still trying to find a solution as to how to land this plane.We don’t want to go out of business ( I must admit this is a simplistic description of the horrors and stress pilots go thru in an emergency situation).

        Captain Weah, the ball is in your court! Our lives depends on you landing this plane safely. Take good advice and use your best piloting skills.

  14. Tweah missed the mark … your speech should have just been titled: “Weah, our God”. Grumbling on inspired no one, perhaps only those who believe it’s their time to eat. And why were you chosen to speak anyways? Is it a fear of being told the truth? You guys are digging a hole you may not craw out off?

  15. His Royal Courtesy,

    Mr. M. S. Bah,
    It’s been my pleasure to keep in touch with you. I am seriously hoping to step on the shores of Liberia this year. I am intrigued by Mr. Weah’s call for reaching out to the poor. Weah’s concept of “pro-poor” can be carried out if the right ideas get in the mix. With vigor and enthusiasm, I will do all that’s possible to re-define pro-poor. I am optimistic that he will take a listen to my suggesttions.

    Bah, to be honest, the poor of Liberia have been ignored and unhelped for a very long time. It’s about time that the poor are helped. Helping the poor does not translate into hand outs. Oh no. Empathy is the word! I will try. I am putting together a litany of proposals that are meant to inspire the poor. I promise in God’s name I will try. During His limited time on earth, the soon returning Lord said that “we should not forget the least amongst us”. If that’s how Weah feels, I am ready to get on his bandwagon.

    Hopefully, we’ll connect! You and Call Me John Doe get the kick out of me. Hang in there. Do well in your studies.

  16. Mr. Call Me John Doe,
    It’s a pleasure to read your comments always. And yes, you’re right to suggest that humor is needed sometimes, if not always. Good humor is healthy; it helps in terms of lowering people’s blood pressure. That’s what research points out. Not my own investigation.

    It looks as if Liberians are locked up in the third world. The third world is an uncomfortable place for us to be especially since it’s been more than 171 years. If Weah employs the right people, we Liberians will crawl out of the third world.

    We’ve lived with a third world mentality for so long. That’s because our former dictatorial, self-centered leaders believed in their heart of hearts that the status quo way of life was okay. They were wrong! We need a second world mentality.
    Okay, hang in the Royal man.

    • Thank you for your kind words ,Sir. There is no doubt on my mind that you will make very meaningful contributions to our country if allowed to join the band wagon(our folks here don’t seem to take a kindly to richly divergent progressive minds especially those returning home,welcome to Liberia in advance and I truly wish you Godspeed in your endeavors whatever they are ) in whatever capacity. From my analysis of your contribution on here , you will make a good mentor and professional in education,development, judiciary system ( I suspect you might have worked with legal matters, you don’t have to comment on that, but your latin is in place lol , I might be wrong here , but what is sure is you can perform in a “multivariate” environment) and not the least modernization. We need progressive folks !

      Mr. Weah, one of the sons of the soil by virtue of “jus soli” is returning to contribute , please offer him the kola nut and pepper and make a seat for him, you won’t regret it !

      • REPOST

        Call Me John Doe July 29, 2018 at 2:23 pm
        Thank you for your kind words ,Sir. There is no doubt on my mind that you will make very meaningful contributions to our country if allowed to join the bandwagon (our folks here don’t seem to take too kindly to richly divergent progressive minds especially those returning home,welcome to Liberia in advance and I truly wish you Godspeed in your endeavors whatever they are ) in whatever capacity. From my analysis of your contribution on here , you will make a good mentor and professional in education,development, judiciary system ( I suspect you might have worked with legal matters, you don’t have to comment on that, but your latin is in place lol , I might be wrong here , but what is sure is you can perform in a “multivariate” environment) and not the least modernization. We need progressive folks !

        Mr. Weah, one of the sons of the soil by virtue of “jus soli” is returning to contribute , please offer him the kola nut and pepper and make a seat for him, you won’t regret it !

  17. Rice grows well in Liberia. No doubt. However, there are many obstacles in Liberia; when it comes to producing enough rice to feed Liberia’s 4.5 million and growing population. It’s not only Liberians who eat rice in Liberia. There are the millions of rice-eating yellow birds, the notorious rice-eating ground hogs and many rice-eating rodents. To be self sufficient in rice production, we must find a way to eradicate the yellow rice-eating birds, the notorious rice-eating ground hogs and the millions of rice-eating rodents. Once that’s done, we will be on a better footing.

    • Good suggestion Henry! Can you, in that regard, add the eradication of mosquitoes so we will at least have the opportunity to eat the harvests from those rice farms? Thanks my man.

      • H. Snyder; Perhaps control is a BETTER word. How ’bout that? We can however, also off-set our imported rice bill by producing coffee and cocoa. And, let’s process all rice in Liberia. That will create JOBS for our LABOR-FORCE. Time was, when we got our rice from the U.S. In return, The U.S bought our “Fine Liberian Cocoa and Coffee”. We need to seriously think about going back to those good old days. At least we were exchanging Coaco and Coffee for *RICE.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here