Home Economy Donors’ Trust Upturns Rice Farming….As US$4m Approved For Disbursement to Producers, Processors

Donors’ Trust Upturns Rice Farming….As US$4m Approved For Disbursement to Producers, Processors

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: President George Manneh Weah has disclosed that “2022 was a high-performing period for Liberia’s agriculture sector, wherein more focus was placed directly on impacting rural and urban farmers, as well as those in the agricultural value chains.

According to the Liberian leader, this is evidenced by the delivery of implements to farmers to enable them boost local production.

“The Government and donor partners disbursed financial grants to farmers in the rice, vegetable, oil palm, rubber, poultry, piggery and cassava sectors, so as to expand their production and capacity in their respective value chains,” President Weah disclosed.

The President added that “Liberia’s agricultural sector now enjoys the confidence of donors, whose support and presence allow for greater production of rice and other crops, and the employment of climate-smart agricultural practices that help mitigate the impacts of climate change on farmers.”

President Weah’s statements were contained in his Annual Message to the Sixth Session of the Fifty-Four National Legislature, delivered on 30th January, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

The Liberian leader recalled that in the early days of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led Administration; he signed the Liberia Agricultural Commercialization Fund (LACF).

Funded by the World Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development, the LACF has expanded from an initial three (3) value chains (rice, oil palm and horticulture), to now include four (4) more value chains (rubber, cassava, piggery and poultry).

The President further told the Liberian Nation that the LACF is also spread nationwide and provides access to finance for commercial farms and agribusinesses.

“I am pleased to report that $4 million US dollars, out of a total of $41.5 million US dollars, has already been approved for disbursements to selected beneficiaries, particularly rice and vegetable producers and processors. I am also pleased to inform you that President Biden has recently named Liberia as one of very few African countries to be a beneficiary of the U.S. “Feed The Future Program”, which is the U.S. government’s flagship global food security initiative,” the Liberian leader intoned.

According to President Weah, “This year has a very special meaning for me, as it marks my sixth and final State of the Nation Address to this Honorable Body for the term of my Presidency to which I have been elected.”

Weah: “In 2017, I was given a resounding mandate by the Liberian people to steer the nation through a constitutionally guaranteed six-year term. As this year concludes that period, I am happy to apprise you, my fellow compatriots, of the enormous progress that has been made, in spite of inevitable challenges.”

“The past year marked a crucial historical milestone for Liberia, when we celebrated 200 years of the founding of our Nation. I need not belabor you with accounts of how much we have all been through as a People during these two centuries, including wars, pestilences, and economic setbacks and downturns. But together, we have remained strong and progressive, and have managed to always emerge triumphant and united, through and after every trial and tribulation, regardless of our ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, or political affiliations,” he told the lawmakers.

“As your President, I have made it my overarching purpose and duty to work towards preserving the peace of this Nation, ensuring always that we do not slide back into conflict. This has been the fundamental underpinning of all development and policy initiatives of my Administration. The record will show that we have achieved undeniable success in this endeavor, while at the same time always ensuring that there is strict adherence to the rule of law, and protection for the constitutional rights of our citizens, as we consolidate our democracy and develop our Nation,” President Weah indicated.

He pointed out that “Our well-earned credentials as a nation of peace and democracy in West Africa will be put to the test in about nine (9) months from today, when we head to the polls for General and Presidential elections. These will be the fourth elections since the end of the war in 2003, and they will be an important benchmark for judging the extent of the consolidation of peace in our country.
“Two years ago, I delivered an address at COP 26 in Glasgow calling for carbon trading on the African continent. I repeated similar themes at COP 27 that was held in Egypt last year. My vision is to have Liberia work with the international community to enhance Liberia’s potential of being a carbon sink for the world, given our huge forest reserves. Smart climate finance is the way we want to go, and we encourage our international partners to help to get us there.

“We are committed to doing our part to transition to this new model of climate change financing in Liberia. Liberia remains committed to the global climate change agenda and to meeting its Nationally Determined Contributions. We are looking to improve governance of the forest sector and move toward a more effective management of our forest reserves, as a means to transition to a better model of climate finance.

“We are also working to enlarge our protected areas and are committed to reducing our reliance on commercial logging. But much more needs to be done in these areas, and we will continue to work along with our development partners achieve these goals.

“Climate change is affecting Liberia in various ways, and we are accordingly responding with meaningful projects. For example, following submission of a coastal defense funding proposal to the Green Climate Fund in 2021, a $25 million US dollar coastal defense project for the Township of West Point was approved and the project has commenced. Another coastal defense project for Greenville, Sinoe County, has also been approved by the Global Environment Facility, at a cost of $10 million US dollars, he narrated.”

According to the Liberian leader, these two coastal defense projects are expected to reduce the vulnerabilities of the respective communities against the adverse impact of climate change.

In this regard, the Liberian president thanked partners and stakeholders for assisting Liberia to secure the needed resources to address these glaring manifestations of climate change damage to some of our coastal communities.

“My government values the support provided by the UNDP, which is not only co-financing both projects, but which has helped Liberia to secure the resources needed from the GCF and GEF. UNDP is also partnering with the EPA and the Ministry of Mines to implement the programs,” he stressed.

Touching on the country’s road network, Weah maintains that Liberia continues to remain the focus and passions of his Administration and those considerable gains have been made in the road and transport sector of the country.

“The Ministry of Public Works remains the fulcrum of our development agenda through the full execution of its mandate to plan, procure and construct public infrastructure. It has continued its constructive engagements with our traditional financing partners, and has been successful in raising funds for the construction of new primary road networks, as well as for the implementation of several additional development projects,” he told the Legislature.

“With the support of our partners, we have made significant gains in the pavement of primary roads for all ongoing projects. To date, a total of 45 km have been paved on the Gbarnga to Salayea road corridor, 20 km has been paved on the Ganta to Saclepea road, and 31 km of the Sanniquellie to Loguatuo road corridor has been paved.

“I am also pleased to inform you that we have paved 30 km of the Ganta to Yekepa road corridor, and continue to make progress on the Robertsport to Medina road and the RIA road corridor; both of which are funded exclusively by the Government of Liberia. All of these road works are still ongoing,” he emphasized.

According to the Liberian leader, in addition to these gains on our primary road construction projects, the 40 km Tappitta to Toe’s Town road construction project is ongoing, while the government commenced the payment of project-affected persons along this corridor to facilitate early commencement of works when the project is contracted and signed in the first quarter of this year.
Weah: “In an effort to ensure accessibility of our people between Ganta and Zwedru, I reported to this body in my address last year that the Government was engaged in discussions with the World Bank to secure the financing that will alleviate the problems faced by commuters using this stretch of road.

“As Liberians, we can all recall the difficulties faced by road users that travel along this particular road corridor. This situation also causes major impediments to the economic development of our people, as this route is a major trade corridor to a large part of this country and to the rest of the region. The completion of this road will be a game changer in the travel dynamics of our country,” he further informed Lawmakers.

Against this background, he disclosed that his Government has secured the full financing required to connect the remaining 75km between Toe’s Town and Zwedru City as well as the 10km road corridor between Toe’s Town and the Ivorian border.

In addition to these achievements in the sector, the Consultant for the design and studies of the 110 km road corridor between Flewokan to Zwedru has been procured through funding by the African Development Bank. “This is the last remaining road section between Zwedru and Fish Town, for which my Administration has already secured the financing.”

He stressed that with these major commitments secured and processes ongoing for the preparation of documents leading to the procurement of consultants and contractors, Liberia is on a positive path to make the smooth travel from Ganta to Harper on asphalt paved road a reality.

Weah: “As a matter of fact, as we speak, the construction of the 20 km road section between Fish Town to Flewokan is currently ongoing. Continuing with our primary road connection between county capitals, I had previously mentioned that progress have been made in securing the commitment of funding by our Arab partners which include Saudi Fund for Development, Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development, BADEA, and OPEC Fund for International Development for the construction of the Salayea to Konia road corridor.”

He emphasized that “this arrangement is still on course and the recent re-verification exercise between Government and the funding partners has given us hope that these works are soon to be moved from the planning phase into active construction activities.”

Additionally, Weah disclosed that studies are far advanced on the 50 km Barclayville to Klowne road, which is being funded by the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, and construction works are expected to commence this fiscal year.

Weah: “When we commenced our leadership, the total paved roads in our national road network was only 745 km throughout the entire country, representing less than 5% percent of the network. Today, we have increased this number to 1,375 km, with an additional 436 km paved in the primary roads category alone.”

“As we advance with our road construction works, it is important that maintenance on the primary road corridors is continued, in order to ensure accessibility of our people throughout the country, even during major setbacks like the rainy season.
“While new road construction is a priority, my Administration has also committed resources for the maintenance of the already existing road assets throughout the country.

“In this regard, maintenance works are ongoing on approximately 500 km of unpaved primary roads, including the 38 km Greenville to Wiah Town road in Sinoe; the 118 km Greenville to Boah Geekan in Sinoe & Grand Kru; the 115 km Pleebo to Boah Geeken road in Sinoe and Grand Kru; the 130 km Ziah Town to Zwedru – Putuken road in Grand Gedeh, the 72 km Brewerville to Compansu road in Bomi; and the 68 km Konia to Voinjama road in Lofa County. Maintenance works are also ongoing along the St. Paul Bridge to Tubmanburg highway and the Harper to Karloken road.

“We have also continued our efforts in the cleaning of drainages across Liberia, including Monrovia and other cites which are prone to flooding during the heavy downpour of rain each year. With the active involvement of communities, we incorporated community-based organizations which ensured employment of several community members in taking up responsibility for the cleaning of drainages within their respective neighborhoods,” he told the nation.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment