By Bill W. Cooper
Agriculture Minister, Jeanine Cooper has stressed the need for more support and priority to be given to the locally produced farm products in the country.
She said since her ascendency to the Ministry, Liberia has experienced tremendous improvement in its food security sector something which she attributed to the collaboration and partnership between government, local farmers and its partners.
“The Government has a firm commitment on practical actions to ensure that Liberia strives towards food security, and the country is now experiencing a surge in the number of Liberian food processors with a growing public interest from communities in local food production and consumption,” the Agriculture boss said.
Madam Cooper made the assertion over the weekend, during a program marking the official celebration of World Food Day, at her Agriculture Ministry in Congo Town.
According to her, in 2019 and 2020, there were 91 agribusinesses registered and more have registered up to current, indicating that young and middle level professionals seeing food production in agriculture as a lucrative undertaking which is attracting the interest time and investment of young entrepreneurs.
Madam Cooper further disclosed that Liberia will shortly join the Coalition of Action on sustainable productivity growth for food security and resource conversations led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
She added, “We look forward to producing more, using fewer inputs, protecting our viable resources, counting on scientific and technological information as we work with our partners to sustain Liberia’s valuable forest, mangrove and ecosystem.”
The event was celebrated with an estimate from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as much as $40 to $50 billion in annual investments on targeted interventions are needed to end hunger by 2030.
Earlier, the FAO country Representative to Liberia, Mariatou Njie, said there are plenty of low-cost, high-impact projects that can help hundreds of millions of people better meet their food needs, noting that the targeted interventions on Research and Development to make farming more technologically advanced, innovative in digital agriculture, and improving literacy rates among women can go a long way to reducing hunger.
She explained further that the approach can only be effective if it’s rooted in working together with governments and key partners, as they forge their own national pathways towards transformation in line with their specific conditions and needs, indicating there are also other essential elements such as better data, governance, and institutions that need to be added to the equation.
“All of us have the potential to be food heroes. Our actions are our future. The process of transforming our Agri-food systems and making an impact on global hunger, healthy diets, environmental damage, and waste starts with you and me,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Madam Njie further intoned that the FAO already started to leverage that into widespread awareness, holistic solutions, and concrete youth-led actions for change, averring, “of course the young aren’t the only ones who need to worry about our agri-food systems not being fit for purpose, and on how to make them more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.”
MOA Minister Calls For Support To Locally Produced Products
…Commemorates World Food Day
By Bill W. Cooper