MONROVIA-In a drive to empower the dominant youthful population of Liberia in the agricultural sector, the first female President of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) Banica Stephenie Elliott has re-echoed that need for the establishment of youth farms across Liberia’s fifteen Counties.

Speaking at the opening of the National Youth Agricultural Development Seminar on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 Madam Elliott said Agriculture provides opportunities for economic equity and helps people prosper around the world and it is tied to all sectors.

Moreover, she indicated that it supports job creation and encourages economic development.

Historicizing further, President Banica stressed that in Liberia, most young people have little interest in agriculture activities and such implicates the low morale and attraction placed to the field.

“This Leadership of the Federation of Liberia Youth, FLY has taken seriously to drive an approach along with its partners to help address the gap”, she assured the gathering.

She stressed that key to the development is the fact that stakeholders who are present would join forces to access the current status of agricultural and youth development.

Among other things, the FLY’s first female President highlighted the need to drive a robust campaign to establish and run the Liberia Youth Agricultural farm across two to three counties as a pilot, “an engagement to lead and inspire the change we envisaged to serve and feed”, she added.

“Today we are also happy that this seminar would lead the feasibility of establishing national youth farms across the country.

She uttered that in order to deep deeper in the Liberia and China partnership, the engagement will empower youth in Agriculture and tackle food insecurity.

As part of the initiative, FLY as a key partner will provide the necessary human resources and land to support the youth farms while the Chinese Embassy is expected to contribute technical capacity and machinery.

She stated that as the youngest Leadership in the history of FLY, her leadership will endeavor to make a positive impact at a larger scale.

The FLY President hailed the Chinese for its immense progress in the sector and encourages the Liberian youth to get actively and much more engaged and involved into the sector.

“We are grateful to the Embassy of China, the Government of Liberia and the collective effort of the FLY’s team who are on the forefront to tailor a new beginning”, she noted.

The FLY’s head pledged its supportive role in taking other actions that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly, Goal 2 which speaks of zero hunger, and Goal 8 which speaks of decent work and economic growth.

The FLY leader through a statistic disclosed that Liberia is ranked 113th out of 121 countries with the most hungry citizens in the world, a study accessed in 2022 by a peer review annual report conducted jointly by Global Hunger Index, Concern Worldwide, and the Welthungerhilfe – (Alliance 2015 Partners.

The report she noted puts Liberia in a level of hunger that seriously reflects Liberia’s score of 32.4 out of 100 points.

“This reflects high hunger level in Liberia though there are progress made in some areas, this becomes an alert for us all to unite our sense of direction to support our agricultural sector”, she told the gathering.

Ms. Elliott is confident that more young people would love to engage in agro-business and “i am assured that more young people do not have much business in studying business courses but they want to venture into a field that would also cater to improve our index on agriculture, yet they remain faced with minimum support to upkeep their involvement in the field”, she stated.

According to her, the belief that if more emphasis would be placed to improve the sector, Liberia can make a better mark, take a step further and improve the status of the farm-to-market challenges.

Banica who also commended the Chinese people, the Ministries of Youth and Sports and Agriculture for their supportive endeavor, is of the conviction that the sector going forward will see vast investment.

Meanwhile, the National Youth Agricultural Development Seminar among other things upon its climax will empower young farmers from the 15 counties in Liberia with the skills and technical knowledge for industrial farming, an approach that addresses food insecurity and youth unemployment.

It is also expected that the Youth farm is taught to be exclusively run and managed by the Federation of Liberia Youth and it is geared towards inspiring more young people to take actions in such direction to lift Liberia from hugely imported nation of our staple food and ingredients to a nation much effective and responsible for large scale farming with high youth population.

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