MONROVIA: The President of the Federation of Liberia Youth (FLY), has highlighted the exigency for the formation of youth farms across all fifteen sub-political divisions of Liberia.
According to Madam Banica Stephenie Elliott, the move will help boost employment opportunities and empower young people across the country.
Making remarks at program marking the climax of National Youth Development Seminar, on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, the FLY boss emphasized the importance of agriculture in promoting economic equity and prosperity.
She pointed out that agriculture is interconnected with all sectors, while maintaining that agriculture is instrumental in jobs creation and economic development in every nation with Liberia being of no exception.
President Elliott also expressed concern over the lack of interest in agricultural activities by some Liberian youths, which reflects the low morale and limited appeal of the field. She stressed that the FLY, in collaboration with its partners, is committed to addressing this gap.
As part of their efforts, Madam Elliott who is the first female President of FLY, emphasized the importance of launching a robust campaign to establish and operate the Liberia Youth Agricultural Farm as a pilot project in at least three counties.
She described this endeavor as an opportunity to lead and inspire young people for the desired change aimed at ensuring food security.
She expressed delight over the seminar aimed at exploring the possibility of establishing national youth farms across the entire country.
She emphasized that this engagement would strengthen Liberia’s partnership with People’s Republic of China (PRC), empowering the youth in agriculture and addressing food insecurity.
Under this initiative, FLY will provide the necessary human resources and land, while the PRC Embassy near Monrovia is expected to contribute technical expertise and machineries.
President Elliott, as the youngest leader in FLY’s history, pledged to make a positive impact on a larger scale. She commended China for its significant progress in the agricultural sector and encouraged Liberian youth to actively engage in and contribute to the field.
Expressing gratitude to the Embassy of China, the dedicated efforts of the FLY team, and the Government of Liberia, President Elliott noted that this collective approach marks a new beginning.
She reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) and Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
President Elliott expressed confidence that more young Liberians would be interested in engaging in agribusiness. She stated, “I am confident that many young individuals desire to pursue a field that not only improves our agriculture sector but also contributes to our country’s development. However, they often lack the necessary support to sustain their involvement in this field.”
She believed that with emphasis on improving the sector, Liberia could make significant strides and overcome challenges related to the transportation of agricultural products to markets.
In the context of the National Youth Agricultural Development Seminar, which concluded successfully, young farmers from all fifteen Liberian counties gained skills and technical knowledge in industrial farming. This approach aims to address food insecurity and youth unemployment.
Furthermore, the Federation of Liberian Youth will exclusively manage and operate the Youth Farm, thereby inspiring more young people to participate in large-scale farming and transforming Liberia from a heavily dependent importer of its own staple foods including rice.
During the ceremony, the Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy near Monrovia, H.E. XU Kun, emphasized the vital role of agriculture in any society and country. Given that agriculture is the backbone of Liberia’s economy, he emphasized the significance of agricultural development in ensuring national stability and improving the well-being of its people.
He highlighted China’s belief that agricultural development cannot be achieved without the participation of youth. Thus, the seminar was themed “China-Liberia Friendly Cooperation: Empowering Youth, Cultivating the Future of Agriculture” to provide a platform for Liberian youth to exchange ideas, learn, and collaborate. This platform aims to unlock their talents and potential.