This is Dennis Garsinii Photo taken from Facebook we don’t have rights to these photos within this story
In May 2022 FAO Alert indicated that Food insecurity is at an unprecedented level in most coastal and Sahelian countries.
The alert revealed that the alarmingly high level of food insecurity is due to localized shortfalls in cereal production in 2021, worsening conflicts, high food prices, and macroeconomic challenges compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the FAO, food insecurity has reached an unprecedented level in the subregion, with the estimated number of food insecure people on an upward trend since 2014 and almost quadrupling between 2019 and 2022, driven by severe shocks: localized shortfalls in cereal production, worsening conflicts, and insecurity, reduced cross-border trade, high food prices and macroeconomic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the number of food insecure people could increase above the initial projections as the effects of the war in Ukraine, mostly related to soaring international prices of food, fuel, and fertilizers, was not factored in the latest food security analyses. Food insecurity conditions can worsen further if constrained access to fertilizers, persisting local insecurity, and forecast localized unfavorable weather conditions result in lower cereal production in 2022.
Rice, being the staple food for most countries in the region, has seen monumental increments in price across various countries.
The country’s (Liberia) staple food started disappearing from shops and marketplaces several weeks ago, prompting hundreds of desperate rice retailers and consumers in the capital, Monrovia, to spend days and nights in rows to scoop small quantities of the commodity from the warehouse of a foreign company that still has a small consignment. Police have been deployed to assist the company’s security, as crowds of anxious people try to force their way into its premises.
Some of them have even gone to resell the commodity at skyrocketing prices. As the crisis continues then, large-scale buyers say they were being compelled by the company to also buy unrelated goods they do not need.
The shortage seems to be the worst in recent years and the tales of the visibly frustrated buyers in queues are similar.
Liberia spends about $200m (£189m) each year on importing rice.
But a son of Bong County is pushing several ways forward for Liberia to produce her stable food by herself.
Mr. Dennis Garsinii, a representative aspirant for Bong County Electoral District #1 in the pending 20233 elections recently took to the social media with several post about what Liberia can do to help herself in producing her stable food, rice.
Mr. Garsinii at one point in time said the “Liberian Government cannot and must not divorce food security for national security because any country that is not self-sufficient in food production puts its independence and national security at risk”.
He wants the Ministry of Agriculture to become more rural focused and provide more technical services to Liberian farmers.
“The Ministry of Agriculture needs to become more rural focused and provide more technical services to Liberian farmers. Assign agriculturally trained technical agents in every district to help our people. The other impediment, according to farmers I spoke to, are the roads. Conditions of farm to market road are terribly bad, which makes me wonder if what we have in Liberia is Monrovia Ministry of Public Works rather than Liberia Ministry of Public Works”, he noted in a social media post.
In addition to providing technical assistance, he said Liberia must also provide farming tool assistance to rural farmers, especially the ones who are involved with rice farming, cassava, eddoes, plantain, and banana.
He disclosed that he as a Liberian have also joined the farming process in his community, Botota in Bong County.“As a way of motivating the people in Botota, Kokoyah District, I became involved in low land rice farming back in 2012. It was a successful initiative as you can see in these pictures. The harvest was great. The secret behind my success was having the money to pay for labor and purchase fertilizers, something those ordinary farmers do not have. In recent time, we hired experts to training locals in Kokoyah in fish farming and raising bees. Agricultural diversification will no doubt help to elevate our people from poverty” this he said.
Pictures From Mr. Dennise Garsinii Farm in Botota , Bong County District #1.
Usual rice shortage problem, (his post).
“The shortage of rice in Liberia has become a dominant crisis making news headlines and major topic for street talks in recent time. Unfortunately, there is another crisis that is not making news headlines and that is academic starvation facing Liberian student who cannot afford fees required to register for the academic year. Poor and desperate students spend most of their time daily begging around for monetary assistance to satisfy the requirements for school. Sadly, the only results from their fervent plea have been ear full of promises of scholarships, many of which were never fulfilled. The use of educational opportunity as manipulative tool of desperate student inhumane.
What is the Government of Liberia not seeing? Government promised free education but fails to provide the necessary tools to support the implementation of free and quality education. Communities are left stranded to pay their teachers for government schools in their communities. There are no chalks for teachers and no books eithers. How desperate do Liberian youths have to get before we know they have reached their breaking points?
Where lies our priorities? Our healthcare system is broken, and we can’t feed our people due to poor agricultural policy. On the educational front, we are no better. Liberia cannot continue to provide poor education for its children and expect to be regionally competitive.
I am not suggesting that this crisis is the making of the CDC led Government. This is an age-old crisis facing our nation. All I am proposing is the fulfillment of the expected responsibilities of every good administration which is to improve on the works of their predecessor. All we have heard from past and present administrations are blames on EBOLA and COVID for national failures. Let’s stop the blame game and tackle the common enemies of Liberia: ignorance, disease and poverty.
His latest post also disclosed that the government encourage diversified commercial food crop farming and increase sustained technical assistance to small and medium-scale farmers with rice and other food crops, Encourage and provide annual subsidies to smallholders, medium size, and large-scale commercial food crops farmers, Put more focus on the rehabilitation and maintenance of farm-to-market roads, Encourage and/or provide storage facilities/financial support for post-harvest management to enable farmers to add value to their food products.
In Education, he wants the government, provide employment for trained teachers immediately following their graduation.
“As a former trained classroom teacher, I know first-hand, the importance of job security following graduation. This will help to reduce the need for volunteer teachers many of whom are not trained adequately educated to be in classrooms, provide scholarship opportunities for advanced studies to teachers who spend two years in the classroom following graduation, provide full college scholarships to Liberians students and in return, require them to participate in job corps while attending college, provide business startup assistance to desiring graduates
For Healthcare, he wants government Increase salaries for health workers, Lend full support to health centers in Liberia by providing needed supplies, Put in place strong regulatory requirements for health workers training and practices, Provide free health care services to children under 10 years of age and adults over 55 years of age, he noted in his various social media posts.