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Ex-Finance Minister On Agric Sector Restoration
Date Uploaded: Sep 15, 2016

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Ex-Finance Minister On Agric Sector Restoration
By Ballah M. Kollie

MONROVIA, September 15 (LINA) – Former Finance Minister Wilson K. Tarpeh wants government to create a framework that will restore the country’s agriculture sector to or beyond its pre-war status.

Tarpeh recalled that 40 years back, Liberia had a vibrant agriculture sector that produced and exported some of the region’s best agriculture produce.

Speaking at the end of a two-day ‘Agribusiness Expo' held at the Monrovia City Hall Wednesday, Prof. Tarpeh said the re-establishment of the Agriculture Bank, Farmers Cooperative Societies and County Agriculture Projects are crucial components needed to revive the sector.

He stressed that the sector needs an institution that will exclusively afford farmers access to finance and that unless government lends quality support to banking institutions to resuscitate the sector, commercial banks will not be able to lend support to agricultural programs.

Meanwhile, Tarpeh has frowned on the allotment of a little over two percent of the 2016/17 National Budget to the agriculture sector which, he believes, is supposed to produce over 40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

He is calling on the government to increase the allotment in the budget for agriculture, stressing, “Agriculture is the only means by which we can transform Liberia.”

At the same time, Professor Tarpeh has observed that post-harvest losses, which amount to over 40 percent of farmers’ annual yield, “is not a good sign for the sector,” adding, “No country can feed itself in the face of 40 percent loss after harvest.”

The Agribusiness Expo is a collaborative initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture and the USAID Food and Enterprise Development Program aimed at improving the livelihood of farmers as well as the agriculture sector of Liberia.

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