Liberia: Self Sufficiency in Food Production Is Key Priority to National Development Plan

Mrs. Precious Tetteh, Acting Minister of Agriculture

Monrovia – The Government of President George Manneh Weah is committed to working with local and international partners to boost production in the agriculture sector. Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony of six new vehicles procured under the Tree Crops Extension Project (TCEP), the Acting Minister of Agriculture Mrs. Precious K. Tetteh noted that self-sufficiency in food production is a key priority under the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

She said, “The Ministry of Agriculture has put in placed a robust monitoring system to ensure that donors’ supports are properly tracked and resources are utilized for the intended purposes. Over the years, many international organizations have provided support to the Agriculture sector but there are no tangible results because the system of monitoring has been weak.”

Minister Tetteh thanked the International Fund for Agricultural Development and other international donor agencies for support to the PAPD, noting that the government will continue to enhance this partnership for the overall good of smallholder farmers around the country.

In a related development, the Ministry of Agriculture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cooperative Development Agency. The Registrar General of Farmers’ Cooperatives in Liberia, Madam Regina Sokan-Teah, signed for the CDA while the Project Coordinator for the International Fund for Agricultural Development implementation Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel G. Vah signed on behalf of the project. Under the MOU, the CDA will assess the capacity of farmer groups in the county and provide the requisite training in financial management, good governance and provide training in the context of International Cooperative principles and best practices with the aim of making farmer’s cooperatives in Liberia viable and increase their profit margin.

According to the MOU, the CDA will conduct audits of farmers’ cooperatives to ensure that they are in conformity with prudent financial discipline, accountability, transparency, managerial and economic growth through private sector development as well as helping to update the constitution and by-laws of all cooperatives in the country.

Speaking in brief remarks at the signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Agriculture Project Management Unit outside Monrovia, Madam Sokan-Teah said the CDA remains committed to building strong farmers’ cooperative societies around the country to compete positively with their counterparts in the region and other parts of the world.

The Project Coordinator of IFAD Project Implementation Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Emmanuel G. Vah said the vehicles are intended to enhance the productivity of various units of the Tree Crops Extension Project (TCEP). He said, one vehicle will be assigned to the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) to support their work in managing the National Seed Garden and the Agronomist compound in Beeplay, Nimba County.

Other beneficiaries of the vehicles are the Cooperative Development Agency, the County Agriculture Coordination office and the project Implementation Unit in Sacleapea, Nimba County.

It can be recalled that the Ministry of Agriculture recently dedicated 23 motorbikes which have been assigned to the Young Professionals and Permanent Workers who are serving as agriculture extension officers to support 10,000 smallholders cocoa farmers in the rehabilitation and revitalization of cocoa farms in the eight districts in Nimba County. The project will also support the rehabilitation of roads and provide temporary employment for about 600 residents along the cocoa value chain in the county.