Monrovia, Liberia: True to pronouncements in his second State of the Nation Address barely a week ago, that he would give the agriculture sector the same focus he gives to "paved road" construction efforts, President George Manneh Weah Monday, February 4, 2019 visited the Ministry of Agriculture in Gardnersville. The President used the visit to share notes and brainstorm with authority of the Ministry and other partners on how to make agriculture a major centerpiece of Liberia's economic development.
The President's first visit to the Ministry, which is the arm of government responsible to oversee the agriculture sector, came a week after he had made a public pronouncement calling for a new order and robust approach to the sector which he said is vital to the country's economic rejuvenation.
In a brief comment at a roundtable discussion with partners and Agriculture Ministry officials, President Weah re-accentuated the correlation between agriculture productions and economic boom on the one hand and poverty alleviation and national security on the other.
He said the essence of his visit to the Ministry was to interact with partners to find appropriate mechanisms and identify strategies that would help ameliorate odds attending the sector.
The Liberian Leader thanked partners of the Agriculture Sector for standing with Liberia in its endeavor to strengthen the sector.
"This meeting is necessary because, as I said in my address to the nation, we are not getting what is being put into the sector," President Weah emphatically said.
Speaking to reporters later after a close-door interaction, President Weah said they discussed ways and means they could work together to improve the sector, mainly how to lend support to farmers so that Liberia becomes self-sufficient in food production.
"We talked about a lot of things during the meeting," he told reporters. "We talked about how we could leave from slash and burn farming methods to mechanized farming. You know there is a huge investment in agriculture, but the outcome is so little."
The Liberian Leader said it is now time Government and its partners find new strategies to improve the sector, stressing the need to put together a technical team that would work from time to time on issues and programs toward achieving fruitful results.
"You know we have land but there are no farms," the President continued. "We need to develop bigger farms and with better technology we will be able to produce our own food to be self-sufficient in food production."
Achieving this goal, the President emphasized needed critical intervention and continuous support in order to change the current negligible outturn compared to the enormous investment being put into the sector.
The President was accompanied at the meeting by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, Hon. Nathniel F. McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Nathaniel Patray Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia. The donors were led by United Nations Country Resident Coordinator, Yacoub E. Hillo.