Please allow me space in your popular newspaper, the Daily Observer, to question authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) as to how the ministry registered 150,000 Liberian poor rural farmers electronically, and who were they?
It can be recalled that on October 19, 2015, at about 5:45 p.m., Emmanuel G. Wah, an official of the MoA, announced that the World Bank has provided a grant of US$54 million to enable the ministry to reduce rural poverty and household food insecurity in the country.
Mr. Wah also disclosed further that the African Development Fund has provided a loan of US$6.4 million to finance civil works relating to feeder roads, to which the Liberian Government contributed US$1.5 million to finance costs associated with office accommodation and taxes on contracts, among others.
I am one of the leading farmers in Liberia, Nimba County to be specific. My question as a farmer is, what did the MoA do with this huge amount of money, and yet farmers’ produce cannot reach the market due to bad (road) conditions? Where are the 150,000 registered farmers?
On April 1, 2015, the World Bank provided a US$3.4 million agriculture package to benefit 10,500 youths from the 15 counties for 18 months. This was disclosed by the manager of Community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP), Andrew K. Macgoma. Yet, our youths continue to cry for employment opportunities.
We the Liberian farmers have been denied for so long, and it is about time that the government pays attention to us so that we can send our youths to school through farming; not all of us can go to Monrovia to earn a living, but rather we can earn our living through agriculture in the leeward counties.
To conclude, I see no possibility for the MoA to register 150,000 farmers electronically, when in fact electricity is not in all parts of Monrovia.
Mr. Minister, please hear the cries of the farmers and feel our plights; and release loans to us to continue our agricultural projects around the country.
Mr. Editor, thanks for the space.
- Zoyahkernah Duo
Beo-Kwado Farmers Group