MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The Senate has mandated its Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to derive a plan to mitigate food shortage in the country within two weeks.
The Committee will work along with the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant authorities, to find a suitable way to resolve concerns raised by citizens to revamp the agriculture sector.
It followed the appearance of Agriculture Minister Jeanie Cooper Tuesday, November 1, 2022, to provide detail information on how Liberia can produce its own food.
Speaking before the Senate’s Plenary Tuesday, Minister Cooper said:” For the past forty-three years, public policy has chosen to support the importation of rice over local production.”
Minister Cooper maintained that since her appointment, she has requested for public sector investment in rice production, but her request has not been appropriated.
The Agriculture Minister added that supporting rice production, through the national budget to empower local farmers and cooperatives across the Country, is the surest way to becoming self-sufficient in food production.
Speaking on the recent shortage of rice, the Agriculture Minister disclosed that her Ministry was not involved with discussion or usage of eleven-million USD intended to subsidize rice importers in the Country.
At the same time, the Senate has re-cited Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah to appear next week Tuesday to show reason why he should not be held in contempt.
It followed the Minister’s failure to appear Tuesday, November 1, 2022, before the Senate’s Plenary.
Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Agriculture Minister Jeanie Cooper were last week invited under contempt charges for failing to honor a previous citation to provide clarity on the expenditure of eleven-million USD, intended to subsidize rice importers.
In a letter addressed to the Senate Tuesday, Finance Minister Tweah stated that due to his involvement with the IMF visiting mission, he could not appear before the Senate, thus requesting for a future suitable date.
He added that IMF is conducting the 5TH Extended Credit Facility Review in Liberia, which is cardinal to achieving macroeconomic stability, and as such his presence is needed at all times.
By: Sampson David