Vice President Joseph N. Boakai
VP Boakai Hails Increase In Gov’t Allotment To Agric Sector
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, September 13 (LINA) – Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has said the increase in budgetary allotment to the agriculture sector from US$3 million to a proposed US$9.5 million has attracted momentum from development partners.
He said, unlike previous years, allocation to the sector has jumped over 100 percent in the 2016/17 National Budget, indicating government’s preparedness to transform the sector.
Vice President Boakai made the statement Tuesday in his keynote speech at the opening of the 2016 Liberia Agribusiness Expo held at the Monrovia City Hall in Sinkor.
“The renewed upward financial support by this government to the agriculture sector has galvanized momentum from our development partners to also commit more financial and technical support to the sector,” the Vice President noted.
He said despite the impacts of the long years of civil war, the drop in the global prices of the country’s traditional revenue generating commodities and the Ebola outbreak, government is still showing more interest in the agriculture sector.
The Vice President thanked the USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) program for working with over 90,000 local farmers, many of whom have testified to the level of transformation implored by the project.
The project, which closes this year, supported four food value chains, including rice, cassava, vegetable and goat rearing.
With the new methods and techniques employed, farmers’ annual yieldsbhave increased with value added to their produce.
USAID FED is a “Feed the Future” initiative of the Obama administration intended to ensure food security in 19 countries around the globe, 12 of which are in Africa.
The program also established a National Diploma in Agriculture program by the creation of Centers of Excellence at the Booker Washington Institute as well as the Lofa, Nimba and Grand Bassa community colleges.
The centers are equipped with modern soil science laboratories and a standardized curriculum.