The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has launched a US$ 7.5m Agricultural Stimulus Initiative intended to benefit Liberian farmers.Launching the US$7.5 Agricultural Stimulus Initiative last Monday on the campus of the Cuttington University in Suacoco, Bong County, CBL Executive Governor Dr. Jones Mills Jones said the Agricultural sector must be given serious attention as it is the engine for economic growth.
Dr. Jones said agriculture has been a main source of livelihood for a great majority of the Liberian people and is the main driver of economic activities in rural Liberia and that the sector also is projected to have count for more than of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 and generate about 90 percent of employment in rural areas.
The CBL Executive whose second term of five years in office has been characterized by the issuance of number stimulus initiatives said, "It is clear that if we want to make a significant move against unemployment, action must be taken to raise production in the Agro sector."
Dr. Jones said credit in the sector account for a mini percent at the end of 2011, thus steps must be taken to raise credit in the sector and make it more vibrant, something for which the CBL Board of Governors has been working in the last few months.
The CBL Chief informed the audience that in recent time the CBL launched a mortgage initiative at the cost of US$ 10m for Liberians to take advantage of an own their homes.
He also recounted the numerous stimulus packages released by the CBL to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Liberian Entrepreneurs, the Liberia Business Association(LIBA), Micro-finance operations all designed to empower Liberians take charge of their economy.
Dr. Jones said the CBL's actions are consistent with the Government of Liberia (GOL) goal of lifting Liberians and Liberia and cautioned farmers to pay back what they borrowed for the exercise to be extended to others who intend to benefit.
Also speaking at the program in Suacoco, the Chief Executive Officers of the Afriland First Bank, Mr. Hamadou O. Bayo lauded the CBL and its Executive Governor for the initiative and reiterated the Governor's appeal for those who borrow to pay back.