Monrovia – Facing a national unemployment crisis, an agricultural advocate, who is aspiring for the country’s presidency, is exhorting for empowerment and job creation for people living with disabilities and also for disadvantaged youth through agriculture.
Presidential hopeful Dr. Jeremiah Whapoe said his quest for a great agro-Liberia mission would get more persons living with disabilities and disadvantage youths into agricultural activities.
Whapoe believes this is an easy means of creating jobs for these people whom he said are rarely absorbed into governmental institutions.
In a FrontPage Africa interview on Wednesday, he said that promoting city farming through investment in wetlands, as well as creating more farm-to-market roads, would offset shortages of major commodities on the Liberian market, especially where disadvantage youths and person living with disabilities are involved.
He expressed dismay over the hike in prices of commodities, especially Liberia’s stable food, rice, which he said has led to series of protests by some Liberian marketers.
"We need to plant to ensure food sovereignty," Whapoe said, recounting how the shortage of food had led to major protests.
Dr. Whapoe who heads the Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT) Party noted that the involvement of people living with disabilities and disadvantage youth into agriculture would promote agricultural revolutions in the country.
The Liberian Agriculturist sees the promotion of an agriculture revolution, with the involvement of all Liberians, as a way of reducing unemployment rates in the country.
“We have a vision to address the need of the common people. We should be talking about unemployment affecting not only the highly educated but those who are also along the line,” Whapoe asserted.
He further stated that if all communities began to cultivate, it would help to combat the high cost of living and food shortages in Liberia.
Whapoe is currently involved in agriculture investment and empowerment of medium-sized agriculture projects by helping to produce over 30 different types of vegetable on a private-owned plot in Todee Lower Montserrado, as well as Bong County.
Critics, though, say the projects are laughably inadequate given the scale of Liberia’s problems, and absurd in a vast and fertile nation that was once self-sufficient.
But Dr. Whapoe noted that Liberia’s economy problem can only be solved if much attention is given to agricultural productivity through merchandise farming.
He said the less fortunate and disadvantage youth would adequately benefit from job creation when farmers are requested to practice merchandise farming in Liberia.
“Merchandise farming would encourage investors to focus on agriculture investment in Liberia with an agreement to produce 25% of the raw materials into finished product,” Whapoe averred.
These agro-base policy according to the Liberian Presidential hopeful would address corporate social responsibility that will bring multi-national commercial investment which would create employment for all Liberians including disadvantaged youth and people living with disabilities.
The VOLT Political leader noted that unemployment rate in Liberia is driving some Liberians, especially disadvantage youths into unwholesome activities which he maintained, can be addressed through multi-national commercial investments in the country.
Dr. Whapoe furthered: “These agriculture investments would also enhance the problem of food insufficiency which had since been a major problem that continued to create disunity amongst citizens.”
The VOLT political leader also revealed that the party has begun distributing over 500 farming tools and several seed products for large scale investments as part of it vision for an agriculture boost in Liberia.