President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Pres. Sirleaf Announces 2-Year Farmers’ Inventory Plan
By Robert Dixon, LINA
MONROVIA, January 26 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has announced that a two-year action plan is being finalized to start an inventory of farmers and a value chain development approach that goes from farm production to agro-processing and full manufacturing.
According to the Liberian leader, the targeted commodities are rice, cassava, cocoa, oil palm, rubber, poultry and fisheries (both marine and aquaculture).
President Sirleaf’s statement was contained in her State of the Nation address delivered at the Fifth Session of the 53rd National Legislature at the Capitol Building in Monrovia Monday.
She said this is being done through policies and programs formulated with technical and financial support from the African Development Bank, replicating the agricultural transformation success of Nigeria.
She stressed that the targeted beneficiaries of the initiatives continue to be smallholder farmers.
The Liberian leader indicated that the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) was reactivated and granted autonomous status with a new governing board.
“CARI has multiplied, in collaboration with Africa Rice Center, short-duration and high-yielding Foundation Rice Seeds to ensure the multiplication and availability of certified seeds for our farmers in the next two years,” she said.
President Sirleaf pointed out that already results of this are evident by the bumper harvest, especially in Lofa County.
The Liberian leader added that concerted efforts have resulted in significant increase in cocoa and cassava production, but regretted that lack of processing facilities and value addition have limited the high export potential of these commodities which, unlike others, have favorable global prices.