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Gov’t Commits To Mechanize Financing … For Agriculture Sector

By: Teacee Gbeway

 

Vice President Joseph Boakai has disclosed government’s commitment to ensure that the country’s agriculture sector is designed to provide innovative financing mechanism.

The Liberian Vice President made the disclosure Tuesday, when he served as Keynote Speaker at the opening of a two-day the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food Enterprise Development (FED) Agric-business Expo held at the Monrovia City Hall.

He said the government’s intervention will include small and medium size enterprise (SMEs), agricultural financing mechanism such as incentive-based risk-sharing facilities for agricultural lending and social bond.

The program, according to the Unity Party (UP) Standard Bearer also disclosed that the innovative financing will also cover catalytic financing facilities, agriculture-relevant e-wallet, and digital financing mechanisms.

Vice President Boakai committed that the government is working closely with the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to design and set up the ” Liberia Incentive Based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending” (LIRSAL) based on going best practices in Nigeria and other African countries with support from AFDB and AGRA.

He said reducing post harvest losses, strengthening value addition, establishing structured markets and marketing systems can all contribute to sustainable food security.

The Keynote speaker emphasized that the estimated rate of post harvest losses in Liberia is approximately 35 to 40 percent, stressing that the losses are caused by improper processing, poor storage practices and transport constraints, which is one way to attain food security and reduce the rate of post harvest.

He lamented that the government is encouraging stronger framework for collaboration and agreed scorecard for mutual accountability to judge the results of the implementation of huge investments in various programs and projects both by government and development partners and NGOs.

Vice President further emphasized that both the government and development partners should be held accountable for huge sums of funds spent in the agriculture sector, as well as other sectors, for economic growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods of citizens.

“We are impressed that this is taking place with some of the best minds that understand the Liberia agriculture sector. I am confident that the topic will be probed with the rigor and intelligence that it demands” he noted.