The Inquirer (Monrovia)

West Africa: WAAPP Launches Nationwide Campaign On Agriculture

The West African Agricultural Productivity Program has launched a nationwide campaign intended to explain the achievements and the objectives of West African Agricultural Productivity program in West African Countries.The campaign was launched recently at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville outside Monrovia.

Speaking at the launching program, the National Project Coordinator of WAAPP, J. Cyrus Saygbe said the launching program was intended to explain the achievements and the objectives of West African Agricultural Productivity program in West African countries. He said the program aims at rendering agriculture more productive and sustainable while promoting regional integration; specifically providing a sub regional framework on the basis of ECOWAS countries which will collaborate to implement national and regional agricultural strategies related to the generation and dissemination of technologies of priority speculations specific to the countries.

According to him, the first phase consists of four series, which includes Ghana, Mali, and Senegal, now part of the program.WAAPP1B, including Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Cote d, Ivoire, was approved on 30th of September, 2010 by the IDA Board of Directors of the World Bank,WAAPP 1C comprising Benin, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo was approved on 24th of March 2011.

The Japanese Ambassador, E.H.Nato Nikal has acknowledged her gratitude to the WAAPP officers for their great contributions and achievements in West Africa. She further stated that the Japanese government will always support the agricultural sector in Liberia so as to enable those who are in the sector equip themselves.

The Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Joseph N.Boakai, has congratulated the WAAPP for their great contributions in Liberia. "I am always pleased and honored to be a part, and to play an active role in undertaking that focus on our agricultural sector. Our gathering here today is of particular great interest to me, considering the primary reason for our convergence here this morning. We come together today not simply as another showcasing of our abiding quest to stimulate our agricultural sector. More than that, it is evidenced of our commitment to live by the much stated slogan, 'produce what you eat and eat what you produce,'" VP Boakai stated.

"On recollection, our last rendezvous here on Monday morning of September 10 of this year, was about enhancing our production in the area of cash crops, coffee and cocoa. At that occasion we gladly launched the smallholder Tree Crops Revitalization Support Project," the VP added.

"Today, it is about an area that I consider to be sitting at the top of national areas of concern; our country's two primary staple foods, rice and cassava. Liberians can never forget what the Rice Riot of 1979 in this country caused and it therefore does not require Rocket science to conclude that real success at resolving our rice question will inevitably herald that sustainable peace and wellbeing that we crave for as a nation. We are here today to launch the Liberia project of the West African Agricultural Productivity program WAAPP 1C, the goal of which is the achievement of food self sufficiency and possible export capacity building. The World Bank funded program being executed under the auspices of ECOWAS has a project area also comprising Benin, The Gambia, Guinea, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo," the VP intimated.

The inauguration of such a project in Liberia is a welcome development, especially noting its aim of rendering agriculture more productive and sustainable as well promoting regional integration. That is why we again want to abundantly thank our foreign donor partners for their support in this vitally important area. We expressed our gratitude to the World Bank .the Japanese Government and ECOWAS for partnering with the concerned West African countries in formulating such a relevant program.

"The relevance of heightened productivity in rice production, no doubt, is laden with that great potential to inflict a gash on our elusive food self sufficiency quagmire right at its nerve center. We register our acknowledgement of the bold and courageous efforts of Agriculture Minister Chenoweth and her various special teams at the Agriculture Ministry and we implore them to remain steadfast in their relentless effort to the justice to our Agricultural sector that it unquestionably deserves. For scores of years now, successive governments have searched for a program that will serve as a catalyst to meeting self reliance in food production," the VP concluded.

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