By Victor C. Hanson, Jr. (Cub Reporter)
The Government of Japan has donated 12,270 metric tons of rice to the Republic of Liberia as part of its effort to assisting the government and strengthening relations with the country.
Speaking at the turning over ceremony of the Japanese Food Aid Donation to the Government of Liberia in Montserrado, the Acting Minister of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Candace Eastman, said the inception of the Japanese Food Aid to Liberia was in 2008 when President Sirleaf held a bilateral consultation with the Japanese Ambassador near Accra, Ghana for Food Aid Assistance.
Minister Eastman added that the President’s visit was precipitated by the record increase in cash crops prices, particularly rice, in 2008 before the financial meltdown, as a result of assistance from Japan through the monetization program and a number of development projects has been erected and sustained.
Min. Eastman stated further that we continue to witness a successfully implemented partnership since the first engagement by President Sirleaf; MCI is pleased to continue to lead this effort through monitoring and provision of feedback from our collaborating Ministries.
Min. Eastman pointed out that development project founded under this effort includes: the Paddy and Seed Rice project implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Micro Small and Medium Sized Enterprise implemented by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, ELWA Community Infrastructure Development Project, the Grand Cape Mount Bridge Project construction and storage facilities in rice producing belts zone implemented by MOA.
Ambassador Dr. Yoshihiko Higuchi said the government of Japan has vowed to always keep assisting the government of Liberia and its people, and that they will always show that concern by standing with Liberia to ensure that it progresses.
He concluded that the donation of the 12,270 metric tons of rice to the government of Liberia is to show their love and to strengthen the relationship between Liberia and Japan.