Agriculture Minister Jeanine Milly Cooper says the commercialization of agriculture is key to transforming the sector in Liberia.
Speaking at the ongoing cabinet retreat in Ganta (Gomba City) Nimba County, Minister Cooper notes that despite the challenge of access to finance, the Ministry of Agriculture has expanded cultivation of crops and livestock from small holdings to commercial scale to boost the sector.
She calls for exportation of cash crops as primary commodities but stresses a need for industrialization to add value to transforming agriculture.She points to Nimba Rubber Company exporting processed rubber from Liberia and the current construction of a rubber processing plant in Margibi County by Indian businessman Jeety will see the manufacturing of rubber tires in Liberia in the next few years and Firestone Liberia opening one of West Africa’s largest Ribbed smoked sheets plant in the country this year as some achievements by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Still, in progress, Minister Cooper discloses that with the support of primary egg importing company -UIC from Bomi County, 100 percent of eggs Liberians will consume at the end of 2022 will be produced in the country, while by early August, 27,000 layers will be flying in from the Netherlands.
“We have also set up a field mill at the Free Port of Monrovia to provide poultry and livestock fields to Liberian farmers in order for them to subsequently supply the rest of the country with eggs and chickens.”
The agriculture boss continues that Liberia now has the largest palm mill in the sub-region, Golden Sifca, which operates in Maryland County.
Moreover, she says J-Palm that produces fresh Liberian honey is expanding across the country.
However, she did not report on production of Liberia’s staple, rice and other food crops such as cassava, eddoes, among others.
Farmers in Liberia practice subsistence farming, which does not meet commercial demand. Editing by Jonathan Browne