The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: The Central Bank's Agricultural Stimulus Initiative

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Liberia's national treasury, the Central Bank of Liberia may be exerting all efforts to resuscitate the economy devastated by intermittent crises in Liberia. A strong and vibrant public institution, the CBL, headed by Executive Governor Mills Jones, seems not to only be placing emphasis strengthening or capacitating private banking institutions or foreign business institutions through liquidation, but also other social responsibilities, including scholarships and other educational initiatives.

One soul-touching initiative being executed by Mills Jones' Central Bank of Liberia is its Agricultural Stimulus Initiative for Liberian farmers from the fifteen political subdivisions of the country. Most significant about this Agricultural Stimulus Initiative is the Seven point Five Million United States Dollars set aside by the Central bank of Liberia to support Liberian farmers in the areas of agriculture and fisheries.

As a manifestation of the Bank's eagerness to fast track this initiative, perhaps sensing the slow pace at which agriculture development moving, the Bank recently launched the program in Central Liberia on the main campus of Cuttington University. It is no doubt that the CBL, under executive Governor Jones, may be undertaking this venture to help small and medium Liberian enterprises as a way of stimulating economic growth and improving the lives of ordinary Liberians.

It is indeed an open fact that if the lives of ordinary Liberians must be improved and there is a significant move against unemployment, there must be stronger efforts, as being made by the CBL, toward agriculture development.

Such drive must not only be characterized by rhetorical statements and other non-impact-making glamorous activities such as those under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, but practical programs which directly impact the lives of the farmers, in terms of employment and improvement in their lives. And one way to do this is to have the individual farmer take charge of the program because it is he/she who is familiar with the terrain and knows exactly all that are needed to facilitate and enhance the farming process.

Probably, that may be the primary reason why Governor Mills Jones and his Central Bank of Liberia chose to engage the farmers they way they did and continue to do so that upon receipt of the loans, implementation of the program would immediately follow.

Individual farmers and cooperatives through the country can only be admonished not to deceive or betray themselves by employing criminal 'tactics', in terms of the repayment of the loans to be received. It would be in their best interest to ensure the proper usage of the money to be provided by the CBL so as to be able to repay on time. This will further encourage not only the Central Bank, but other banking institutions in the country to further introduce other programs directed at enhancing agricultural development in Liberia.

Executive Governor Jones and the Central Bank of Liberia must be commended for this Agricultural Stimulus Initiative. It is hope that the CBL will continue to work with these individual farmers and cooperatives not only during the time of the loans, but implementation of the project, in terms of guidance.

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