On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, the Government of Liberia(GOL), World Bank and development partners launched the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. The objective of the Liberia WAAPP, we are told, is to improve the productivity of rice and cassava along their value chain in order to enhance Liberia's food self-sufficiency and regional competitiveness.
The WAAPP, we are further told, is a ten-year Program (of 2 five-year phases). Already, the program is operational and involves Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso. WAAPP-1C, the series to which Liberia belongs, we have learnt, was approved by the Board of the World Bank in March 2011, and also includes Benin, Niger, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Togo.
For Liberia, the WAAPP, we have also learnt, will be implemented in eight (8) counties: Margibi, Bong, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland and Sinoe counties. We welcome the launch of the WAAPP in our country. In the same token, we say hats off to the GOL, World Bank and development partners, particularly the Government of Japan and ECOWAS for partnering with West African countries in formulating such a significant program.
We are happy for the launch of this fine inventiveness in our country. We believe the program would serve as a vehicle to meeting self reliance in food production in our country. Nevertheless, we challenge the GOL with the guidance and support of the World Bank and development partners to ensure that this good program achieves its most wanted objectives.
Undeniably, rice and cassava, which the WAAPP will focus in Liberia, are regarded priority commodities in terms of ensuring National Food Security, improving farmers' livelihood and key driver of economic growth for Liberia.
Candidly, our country, Liberia and its people, stand to benefit greatly from this human driven ingenuity once it is executed to the fullest.
Again, we thank the GOL, World Bank and development partners for this fine program and once more challenge the GOL for its success.