Agriculture Minister Cooper Blames Rice Shortage to Low Budgetary Allocation

CAPITOL HILL Monrovia-Agriculture Minister Jeanine Cooper has blamed the National Legislature for the country’s inability to produce rice in Liberia.

She informs Senators that though some local farmers are engaged in rice production in the Country, it cannot solve the current situation the country is faced with considering the growing population of the nation.

Appearing before a committee of the whole on Tuesday, November 2, 2022, when she was invited by the Liberian Senate to state reasons why she should not be held in contempt by the august body, the Agriculture Minister said the PSIP is one of the key programs designed by the Ministry to produce the country’s staple food.

Minister Cooper further told members of the Senate on Tuesday in an open session that she had worked with the Legislature and submitted the PSIP to both Houses during three different budget years but according to her, when the national budget is approved on each occasion, her request cannot be granted.

‘’If we can’t produce the rice we can eat. The rice situation in the country can’t be solved,’’ she said.

She believes when the plan is approved during every budget year, it will help to tackle the low production of rice in the country, adding that it will also reduce the huge cash given to rice importers as subsidies.

At the same time, Minister Cooper said Liberians can possibly produce their staple food and the rice problem can be solved provided the necessary support is given generally.

She said even though some local farmers and national leaders grow rice in their various constituencies, this has not been sufficient for consumption considering the growing population of the country.

By Emmanuel Toe

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