By Emmanuel Mafelah
Commissioner Moses Kerlen, a Liberian farmer and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Leela Group of Farmer’s (LGOF) in Tokpablee, Bong County says Liberia is experiencing a huge importation of rice, because the government is not providing support to encourage farmers.
“Liberians consume millions of metric tons of rice every year, with a significant portion of its consumption sourced from imports; so the government needs to go back to the policies of the 60s and 70s when farmers were given loans to improve their farming activities,” Commissioner Kerlen said.
“I want to battle the importation of rice, but with the traditional shifting cultivation method still being used in Liberia, it is a difficult war to fight,” he said.
“I appreciate engaging the collective through community involvement. This has actually inspired LGOF to set up a few initiatives, such as giving assistance to farmers for the production of food,” Mr. Kerlen added.
According to him, the LGOF comprises of five thousand three twenty one (5321) members from Tokpablee, Kokoyah sub district and Kpaii district in Bong County.
He said the Leela Group of Farmer’s was established in 2015 with the aim of going back to the soil in order to be self-reliance in the society. We do animal house boundary, palm planning, cocoa productions, substance farming he narrated.
The Tokpablee District Commissioner at the same time maintained that as commissioner agriculture production remains his paramount concern in order to save national government from spending more money on the importations of the Country stable food, (Rice).
Speaking to this paper recently in Gbarnga, Bong County commissioner Kerlen said been a farmer and now a commissioner of Tokpablee district in Bong County agriculture remains his focus.
“Liberia is a country that heavily depends on other countries to feed it citizens and the government of Liberia spends little over two hundred (200) Million United States dollars for the importation of the country stable food from other parts of the world” he noted.
According to the commissioner, the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture will need to pay attentions to Liberian farmer in every parts of the Country if Liberia and Liberian are to service.
CEO Kerlen is at the same time calling on all citizens across Tokpablee district and Liberia at large to actively engage in agriculture in order to feed them and save more money to send their children to school.