Monday, 18 April 2011

Enhancing Food Security

Agriculture is The Key To Liberia’s Future, Says Amb. Greenfield

Wade C.L. williams

The United States Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield says agriculture is the key to Liberia’s future as it relates to food security.
“A nation that can feed itself is a nation that will survive, a nation that can feed itself is a nation with a future,” says Ambassador Greenfield.
The U.S diplomat, speaking in Suakoko Bong County at the agricultural fair hosted by the Cuttington University’s College of Agriculture, congratulated farmers who turned out to display their farm produce.
Agriculture becoming greatest priority
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says government must now move in making agriculture its greatest priority not only for the nation to be able to feed itself but to be able to go back and restore those exports that  had many years ago. “We must do more if we are going to support agriculture and increase the awareness and appreciation of the results of agriculture, making agriculture profitable giving all the risk associated with farming,” says president Sirleaf.
The Liberian leader noted that several of the refugee camps she visited along in Grand Gedeh County she noticed that food was the major concern.
The President appealed to local and international organizations supporting the refugees to supply them with farming tools and seeds, so they can be able to grow their own food adding ‘That’s the only means whereby they can be able to sustain themselves.’
Pres. Sirleaf congratulated the farmers for showcasing the fruits of their labor and thanked organizations that supported the process stressing that there is a need for it to be replicated all over the country.
Farmers from the thirteen districts Bong County came together at the CUC in Suakoko to showcase their farm produce.
The agriculture fair was supported by the United States Agency for International Development USAID through the capacity building arm of the U.S. Government’s Feed The Future- Africa Lead. It was also a partnership of the CUC and the Sierra Leonean Embassy.
 Africa Lead is a key capacity building arm of the United State’s government’s Feed the Future initiative. It operates in three regions with offices in Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa. It is also in at least thirteen sub-Saharan Countries working across public, civil society, university and private sector institutions.
Standing beside a bag of locally produced rice, Gomah Quena from Zota district says she spends long hours working on the farm “I plant bitter balls, rice okra, pepper, cassava to sell to feed me and my children,” says Quena.
Showing her hand turned rough from years of tilling the soil to a visitor Quena says, it is from the proceeds that she gets from her farm that she is able to send her six children to school.
Joseph P. McGill from Jokolleh District displaying his harvest says he and his children cultivate four acres of land on which he plants different variety of crops. He appealed to donors to help farmers with tools and seeds so they can be able to increase production.