--Embarks on Liberia's food production program; as Japanese investment delegation arrives today
The Liberia Business Association (LIBA) has announced that it will embark on the Liberia Food Production Program through which members of the Association will be encouraged and facilitated to engage in more aggressive efforts for food production on a commercial scale in Liberia.
A press release issued yesterday, Monday, January 20, 2020, signed by LIBA president, Mr. James M. Strother, said that after extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders in the national economy, it would pursue measures to encourage and stimulate greater interest in the food production business in the country.
The LIBA leadership has therefore called on all its members to become more creative and industrial as the private sector is the engine of economic growth in any nation.
The LIBA leadership has said that, as the Liberia Food Production Program is a private sector-driven business undertaking, LIBA, in collaboration with other Liberian institutions in the food production sector, has designed a program for investment of some US$157.9 million in the economy of Liberia over the next few years to support food production on a commercial scale.
According to the LIBA leadership, the Liberia Food Production Program requires the provision of some 18 types of intervention support services, as profit-making business ventures, on the production and post-harvest value-added chain of the food industry. The program is believed to have the potential to create over 140,000 permanent and seasonal job opportunities.
The LIBA leadership also says that, if the food production program succeeds, Liberia's dependency on food imports will be eliminated and the foreign exchange status of the country will improve.
The LIBA leadership has further announced that it has begun discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), as well as with the management of Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI), the Farmers Union Network of Liberia (FunL), the Liberia Bankers Association, authorities at the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Investment Commission (NIC) in an effort to ensure the success of the program.
The LIBA release concluded that, the Association's leadership has discovered tremendous investment interest if the food production program of the country is private-sector driven.
In a related development, a Japanese investment delegation with interest in the agriculture sector is expected to arrive in Liberia on Tuesday, January 21, as guest of LIBA, to explore investment opportunities in the sector in Liberia.
While in the country, the delegation will hold talks with a range of Liberian Government officials and visit a number of agriculture-related institutions.
They include the Ministries of Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, Internal Affairs, and Labor, as well as the NIC, LBA, FunL, and CARI, among others.
The Japanese investment delegation may meet the Liberian President, Dr. George Manneh Weah before departing the country on Saturday, January 25.