Liberia remains a food deficit country which depends heavily on international imports leaving smallholder farmers with generally limited storage, processing and marketing capacity.
But in a video conference from Washington DC, USA screened at the World Bank Office in Monrovia, Madam Punam noted that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to deteriorate and it is projected downwards from 4 to 1.6percent this year.
She stressed that improving the productivity of smallholder farms is central to lifting rural incomes and reducing poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Also speaking, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, Albert Zeufack, mentioned that economic growth is drastically slowing down in Africa and the 2015 decline in economic growth was at 3 percent with a projected fall of 1.6 percent in 2016.
Mr. Zeufack described the situation as the slowest growth in two decades noting that growth per-capital is negative in Africa, describing it as alarming.
He emphasized that African governments must utilize their agriculture potential in order to revamp their economies.
The statements are part of the Bank’s launch of the October edition of ‘Africa’s Pulse’ aimed at providing specific analysis of issues shaping Africa’s economic future.
According to the Bank’s latest report, Agriculture and agribusiness together are projected to be a US$ 1 trillion industry in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by 2030 (compared to US$ 313 billion in 2010), and they should be at the top of the agenda for economic transformation and development.
The report stated that agribusiness can play a critical role in jump-starting economic transformation through the development of agro-based industries that bring much-needed jobs and incomes. Successful agribusiness investments in turn stimulate agricultural growth through the provision of new markets and the development of a vibrant input supply sector.