Liberia commits to supporting private sector development

11 Sep 2013

imageUNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen calls for the recognition of local entrepreneurs (Photo: UNDP/A.Pshorr)

Monrovia: A two-day forum on investment in the agriculture sector has ended with a commitment from Liberia’s National Investment Commission (NIC) to support private sector development in the Country.

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the framework of the Liberia Public Private Dialogue and Investment Facilitation Platform  was held under the theme  “Accelerating Private sector participation in the Liberian CAADP Investment Program” with an aim to facilitate investment in the country, creating business linkages between small holder and potential local and international investors in agri-business.

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) under the framework of the Liberia Public Private Dialogue and Investment Facilitation Platform  was held under the theme  “Accelerating Private sector participation in the Liberian CAADP Investment Program” with an aim to facilitate investment in the country, creating business linkages between small holder and potential local and international investors in agri-business.

Supported by the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and UNDP’s Regional Inclusive Market Development Program, the event attracted key agriculture stakeholders from the government and private sectors.

The Chairman of the National Investment Commission Natty Davies emphasized the need for investors to focus on the agriculture sector, which he says adds value to the Country’s economy and would drastically reduce the Country’s heavy reliance on the rubber and mining sectors.

“There is a huge potential in agriculture for the private investor particularly along the value chain from transportation, processing and storage etcetera” Mr. Davis observed.

One of the Participants, Francis Dunbar of the George Dunbar farm in Palala Bong County, appealed to investors attending the forum to divert their attention from low scale farming to high scale. Mr. Dunbar noted that there are Liberian farmers who have the potential to produce on a high scale using mechanized farming methods, but need training and assistance in terms of machinery and irrigation.

“We need to get away from workshops and developing policies that are not implemented and instead get practical, by moving into the field and assist farmers who have the potential to produce and sell local products on a large scale, to supermarkets that usually import from Spain and other developed Countries” stressed Dunbar.

Also speaking at the forum, the Acting Agriculture Minister Charles McClain described the soil as the best bank, noting that investing in agriculture would help boost the social and economic transformation in Liberia.

“Investment in agriculture eliminates hunger, poverty; facilitates food export, and enhances national growth and development. That is why there is an urgent need for the private sector to jump on board and take advantage of the profitable opportunities in the agriculture sector” intimated Minister McClain.

The Liberia Agriculture Sector Investment Program is being undertaken by the Government in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

UNDP Country Director says his Agency welcomes the government’s commitment to the private sector with investment in the agriculture sector pointing out that investment in agriculture can be a driver to the actualization to the vision of making Liberia a middle income country.

Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen stated that he development of a  long-term vision, the Agenda for Transformation and current efforts aimed at investment promotion and facilitation, including a comprehensive strategy for private sector growth, that recognizes the needs of local entrepreneurs, while keeping an eye on the effective management of natural resources, is the in the right direction.

Contact

For further information, contact: Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.org Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425