By Edwin G. Wandah
Several journalists on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, visited a farmland owned by the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai observed that several local farmers hired to work on the farm were seen jubilating and expressing excitement as the farm work has provided another source of survival for them and their families.
Speaking to journalists shortly upon arrival at the farm in Gbarma, Gbarpolu County, Mr. James Mulbah Flomo who is the Manager of the farm explained that the farmland which covers more than 53 acres of land has been occupied with rice, cucumber, pineapples and other vegetables.
Mr. Flomo also said, since his employment as Manager of the farm on April 26, 2012, there has been cordial working relationship with the people working along with him. He stated further that the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia has imposed confidence in his leadership, something which according to him has improved the long standing working relationship.
“I came on this farm on April 26, 2012, and I have had great and wonderful experience as being the Manager of this farm; we have had good working relationship with Gbarma citizens and the workers themselves,” James Mulbah Flomo stated.
He added that with the level of support, working materials, allowance and salaries paid to workers and those contracted daily have been smooth and cordial.
For his part, UNESCO Peace Ambassador to Liberia, Rev. Dr. J. Luther Tarpeh told journalists that VP Boakai has also shifted his attention to agriculture. The UNESCO Boss further stated that VP Boakai has also seen the grave needs of the Liberian people, especially, the local farmers and has decided to empower them make good use of the soil, mainly in agriculture.
Meanwhile, both the Project Coordinator and Media Relations in the Office of the Vice President of Liberia, Mr. Peter Stevens and Mr. George K. Saah told host of media practitioners that VP Boakai feels excited to see local Liberians using the soil to grow food.
The two executives assured the farmers of the Vice President continue supports especially in the area of agriculture and food production.
Also, Unity Party Secretary General who attended the occasion expressed was deeply moved when several women and young women were seen harvesting local Liberian rice.
The Unity Party Secretary General also used the occasion to call on others to emulate the good examples of the Vice President of Liberia.
Meanwhile, VP Boakai has promised to give the rice produced on his farm to the Ministry of Agriculture at lower rate to be used to empower other local farmers in Liberia.
Speaking at his official residence in Paynesville, VP Boakai said Liberians should now be thinking about focusing their attention to homeland farming. According to him, this will provide job opportunities for several Liberians who are jobless.
The Liberian VP intimated that agriculture is an investment which pays in returns and that the farm has some major crops like butter pears, pawpaw, and cucumber.
VP Boakai then refuted the notion that Government should not be blamed for the limited presence of farming in Liberia. He said the Ministry of Agriculture does not plant or make farm. He said, Government’s role through the Ministry of Agriculture is to make policy and provide the technical role in enhancing the status of farmers.