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Liberia Urged to Graduate From Subsistence Farming

The West Africa Regional Fisheries Project Coordinator Yevewuo Subah wants Liberia to graduate from subsistence to mechanic farming to ensure food sufficiency in Liberia.

Mr. Subah noted that 70% of Liberians depend on agricultural livelihoods. Most Liberian farmers are poor as they depend on subsistence farming which barely produces enough to feed their individual families.

Mr. Subah made a presentation at the Governance Commission’s Agriculture and Food Security Forum held Friday at the Corina Hotel last Friday, September 29, 2017. His presentation was on Agriculture: Commercial and Enterprise Development.

Liberia’s agriculture sector is still plagued by a number of challenges including managerial, environmental, climatic, economic, and development which continue to hamper the country’s growth and development.  

Mr. Subah identified these challenges to also include Structural constraints, inadequate policy implementation, displacement of farming communities due to conflict, degraded transportation, production and other infrastructures, and diminished productive capacities.

Mr. Subah recommended that for commercialization and enterprise development to become a success in Liberia government needs to ensure that it puts in place adequate Policy and programs and ensure legislative environment ( Harmonize and properly implement programs, policies, & legislations);  encourage multi-sectorial coordination (Establish proper coordination of interventions by stakeholders); build institutional & human capacity; Facilitate Trade and promote markets (Invest in infrastructure, Build capacity for standards, trade negotiations, branding, certification, etc.); and attract investment  to strengthen public-private partnership in agriculture.

Government’s agriculture goal under its first Agenda for Transformation (AFT) was to promote a robust, competitive and modernized agriculture sector supportive of sustainable economic growth and development.

It can be recalled that Strategic objectives of the AfT included increased productivity and environmental sustainability for small-holder farmers; increased integration of small-holder agriculture with markets; increased access by farmers to productive assets, credit, and training; increased access to land and land titles, and improvements in the nutritional status of Liberians.

However, the agriculture sector is still grappling with issues such as limited access to market due to limited road networks; limited crop diversification and rudimentary production techniques; poor food value chain; lack of credit; and low institutional capacity; and limited incentives to produce marketable surpluses among others. Farmers, particularly women farmers, rarely possess title to land.

A second phase of the AfT is under preparation.

Other national respond programs initiated by this government includes

The Liberia Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (LASIP) of 2010, Liberia Agriculture Transformation Agenda (LATA) of 2015, and the Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report (ZHR) of 2017.

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