‘Rice Importation Must Change’

-Demands Pres. Boakai As Govt Unveils Ambitious Agro Plan

Monrovia-President Joseph N. Boakai Wednesday officially launched an ambitious six-year agriculture plan that seeks to make Liberia self-sufficient in food production, expressing regret that with a vast tracts of arable lands suitable for rice cultivation, the country imports 70% of the rice consumed.

The President called for a complete change of the situation, disclosing that the country channels scarce foreign exchange resources into importing food items that can be produced here in the country.

Resources spent on importing rice, he said, should be channeled into building roads, schools, and health facilities and creating jobs to develop our human capital.

The National Agriculture Development Plan (NADP), President Boakai said has the potential to reinvigorate the country’s agricultural sector and enhance our self-sufficiency in food production.

In these challenging times of climate change and economic crises undermining human civilization across the globe, the President who served as Agriculture Minister during the reign of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC), said ensuring food security for the people should remain paramount.

According to the President, the NADP, which is fortified with inventive strategies and propelled by modern technologies and comprehensive investments, is not just a plan but a game changer, a roadmap to a more secure and sustainable future.

 He rallied the nation, saying “Knowing agriculture to be the backbone of our economy, we must take proactive steps to harness every potential in the sector, to bring progress and development to our people.”

“The NADP is a policy framework intended to harness our vast agricultural potential and shepherd us from a world of want to a world of abundance to reduce our over-reliance on food importation,” the Liberian President further stated.

He said it is unfortunate with a vast tracts of arable lands suitable for rice cultivation, the country import 70% of the rice we consume.

“By doing so, we channel our scarce foreign exchange resources into importing food items we can produce here in our country instead of channeling those resources into building roads, schools, and health facilities and creating jobs to develop our human capital,” Pres. Boakai acknowledged.

According to him, this unfortunate situation must change, and that the change begins with the NADP, which termed as a groundbreaking initiative designed to support and empower our farmers to increase productivity and efficiency through strategic investments in agricultural infrastructure, technology, and research.

He stated that “The NADP brings a paradigm shift in food production from traditional subsistence farming to large-scale, sustainable, mechanized agriculture.”

The President disclosed that government will train our farmers in modern agricultural technologies and empower them with resources to undertake large-scale cooperative farms, emphasizing that the NADP will revolutionize agriculture practices to make it a smart, lucrative business that will attract all Liberians, especially the youth. 

He promised to deploy the needed political will to motivate all of us to embark on this make-or-break agricultural journey.

“We will provide our farmers with the necessary resources, including farmlands, modern technology, and improved seeds, to go into big-time farming and produce food to feed our people,” President Boakai pledged.

He also added that “We will also produce more cash crops for export to resuscitate our ailing economy.”

According to the launch of the NADP is a call to duty to all Liberians, especially key stakeholders in the agricultural sector – farmers, businesses, researchers, and policymakers.

“Your participation is crucial; your technological know-how is vital; your investment funds are indispensable; your wholesale commitment is critical for us to embark on this journey together to meet these targets,” he acknowledged.

The President stated the country stands a good of flourishing when agriculture flourishes in Liberia.

 

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