According to him, the need for the government to take the lead in mobilizing the people into self-help initiatives including investment in agriculture remains a huge imperative.
Speaking on UNMIL radio over the weekend, the Liberian economist said Liberia can achieve prosperity when the government actualizes its Liberianization policy by providing adequate funding for Liberians doing business.
The former Planning and Economic Affairs Minister further suggested that the Agriculture sector be prioritized in the process of empowering the people.
“The government has been so late in putting out the strategies to finance Liberian businesses thus companies are owned by foreigners and at the same time everybody is poor. There is a need for some urgency to this,” Dr. Tipoteh said.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in her state of the nation address on January 25, 2016, indicated her contentment for the potential of rapid growth of the agriculture sector through policies and programs formulated, with technical and financial support from the African Development Bank, replicating the agricultural transformation success of Nigeria.
The Liberian leader told members of the legislature that the government is about finalizing a detailed two-year action plan that starts with an inventory of farmers throughout the country and a value chain development approach that goes from farm production to agro-processing to full manufacturing.
“The targeted commodities are rice, cassava, cocoa, oil palm, rubber, poultry and fisheries (both marine and aquaculture),” she said.
The Liberian leader said concerted efforts have resulted in significant increase in cocoa and cassava production, but lack of processing facilities and value addition have limited the high export potential of these commodities which unlike others have favorable global prices.
“The targeted beneficiaries of our initiatives continue to be smallholder farmers. For example, from July to November 2015, seven cooperatives in Lofa County produced nearly 300 metric tons of cocoa and earned more than half a million dollars from the sales. We have begun to revive the fisheries sector. As a result, several companies have expressed interest in investing in this sector to respond to our diversification goal. We urge Liberian entrepreneurs to take advantage of this,” she added.