RECENTLY, THE JAPANESE Government off-loaded a donation of 8,000 metric tons of rice at the Freeport of Liberia intended to enhance the local farmers’ empowerment program which generally is their way of further assisting the Government of Liberia.
RECEIVING THE DONATION, the Commerce and Industry Minister, Axel Addy expressed gratitude for the huge food aid and recognized that it is not the first of the Japanese Government’s partnership since the government ascended to power noting the construction of bridges, warehouses, amongst others.
HE SAID THE rice donated will be sold and proceeds will be used to undertake development projects in the country and stated that if consumers purchase the rice, it will help in the construction of some other bridges in the country in line with the agreement between both countries.
MEANWHILE, THE DEPUTY Agriculture Minister for Planning and Development, Charles McClain said the rice proceeds will be used in three ways to provide seed rice to farmers, provide bags and give technical assistance to farmers.
MIN. MCCLAIN SAID when farmers in the country are empowered it will encourage them to produce more rice to minimize the high importation of rice and motivate other farmers to go back to the soil for livelihood and sustainability.
INDEED, THE JAPANESE rice donation is welcome news for Liberians especially the local farmers and we hope that the government’s expected purpose for all rice donations does not suffer miscarriage as one person is saying its intent is for developmental projects while the other is saying for seeds and technical assistance to farmers.
WE DO UNDERSTAND that the proceeds are to be used for and by local farmers so that they could be empowered to produce more; therefore we crave the indulgence of the agriculture stakeholders to direct the proceeds from such huge donations towards its intended purpose.
WE ALSO ENCOURAGE the farmers to take note of how the proceeds from other rice donations are being used by them and the government arm that is responsible for local farmers’ projects so that the process can not only stop at its learning stage but add value to their new skills and methodology of enjoying what they do best for their livelihood.
WE AGAIN HAIL the Japanese Government for its continuous thoughtfulness and positive move in harnessing the bilateral relationship both countries enjoy to date.