“Agriculture, the Lifeblood of any Country”

… Chinese Charge d’affairs

By Mark N. Mengonfia- mmenginfia@gmail.com

MONROVIA-The Charge d’Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Xu Kun, noted that agriculture remains the lifeblood of any country and as such, there should be a serious focus on empowering young people to get involved in the sector.

He stressed that for a country like Liberia where agricultural development is crucial to ensuring national stability and enhancing the well-being of its people, the development of the agricultural sector cannot be achieved without the participation of the youths.

XI Kun was speaking at the ceremony of the Liberia National Youth Agriculture Development Seminar on May 30, 2023, at the Golden Gate Hotel in Paynesville.

The Chinese Diplomat added, “Therefore, we set the theme of the seminar as China-Liberia friendly cooperation.”

He expressed optimism that the two-day gathering will build a platform for the young Liberians to exchange ideas,  learn, and cooperate with one another in a bid to actualize their full potential.

He recounted China-Liberia’s Relations dating as back to 1978 when they signed an agricultural cooperation project which has hugely benefitted both countries.

“In recent years, on the basis of equality, mutual respect, non-interference of internal affairs, and win-win cooperation, we have effectively carried out many more agricultural cooperation projects, including the establishment of the China-Aided Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project”, he added.

According to him, the participation of young people cannot be over-emphasized.

Additionally, the Chinese Envoy pointed out that the two-day gathering is intended to promote and encourage young Liberians to engage in agricultural activities.

He told the President of FLY that China will help the institution to operate 15 agricultural farms in the fifteen Counties of Liberia.

Xi Kun praised FLY, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and all those who gathered at the event.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Chinese Business Organization, and young Farmers from the fifteen Counties gathered to grace the event.

The President of the Federation of Liberian Youth, Banica Stephanie Elliott said when she was elected at President of the Institution; one of the things she proposed to work on was providing an opportunity for young people.

According to her, she had earlier planned a pilot farming project in two of the fifteen Counties as a startup.

Now that FLY is in a partnership with the Chinese Embassy, things have changed and the two Counties will no more be but all the fifteen counties instead will benefit.

According to her, she has observed that most young people have little interest in agriculture.

With the introduction of youth agriculture, she hopes that many young people in the counties will get interested in farming.

She told the gathering that in the agreement between FLY and the Embassy of China, her institution will provide human resources while China will provide the technical support and the equipment.

Their goal is to ensure that Liberians start to feed themselves.

Isaac Doe is Liberia’s Deputy Minister for Youths and Sports.

In his remarks, he thanked the Leadership of FLY for sourcing such an opportunity for the young people of Liberia.

He said the first female President is making an impact in the lives of young people.

He hoped to visit the expected farms of the young in the 15 counties.

Also speaking, Harry B. Wennie, Director of Programs and Youth Promotion at the Corporative Development Authority (CDA), said youth’s empowerment in cooperative development is very cardinal.

According to him, FLY stands an advantage to drive corporative, especially with the youthful population the country has.

He said that based on a survey conducted years back, the average age of farmers in Liberia is 59.5 years; an age group he said will not produce more.

He encouraged the young people to work with the CDA so that they can get training in business skills, business development, and how they can form themselves into corporative.

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