Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Liberia Can Be Self-Sufficient in Food Production

Interview: Liberia can be self-sufficient in food production

2009-09-23 03:58:42

By Patrick Wrokpoh

MONROVIA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Liberia can be self-sufficient in food production with vast land, plenty of rainfall, sun shine and labor force, Chinese Ambassador to the African country Zhou Yuxiao has said.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, Ambassador Zhou said China is in the process of constructing an agriculture technological demonstration center at Liberia's Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) that would be used to train Liberians locally in large number to gain quick results in boosting agriculture and make the post-war nation self-sufficient in food production.

Liberia heavily depends on imported food and its stable diet rice is bought mainly from Asia.

The ambassador said if China, a nation with a population of 1.3 billion can be self-sufficient in food production, Liberia , a nation with just 3.5million, can do the same and can do even better.

He said in addition to this, the Chinese government has sent two groups of Chinese instructors to one of Liberia's higher institutions of learning to teach agriculture.

They are performing basic experiments in farming for the students to gain first hand experiences in their quest to learn about farming and assist their nation, the ambassador said.

On the education sector, Ambassador Zhou said China is making available 25 foreign scholarships yearly to the government of Liberia for Liberians to study in various disciplines in his country, making it possible for Liberians to study in areas like medicine, public administration, economics, and computer science among others.

Zhou said in addition to these scholarships, the Chinese government is also making available to Liberia an addition of more than 200 short-term slots for others Liberians to engage in training on subjects like rice planting, fisheries, good governance, inter process management, small industrious businesses among others.

He said at the moment, a total of 80 Liberians are studying in China, many of them are studying in medicine which is one of Liberia's most urgent needed areas of assistance.

Dwelling further on the Chinese government's efforts to strengthen and improve university education in Liberia, the ambassador said the Chinese government is currently constructing the University of Liberia Fendell Campus located on the outskirts of Monrovia, If completed by April next year, it would be the largest university complex building in the country.

He said in the recent months, his government also handed over to the Liberian government three schools built in rural Liberia, and each of them can host several hundred students.

The ambassador assured Liberians that his government would not just stop there, but it would continue to assist Liberians in the area of education.

These Chinese assistance has made a positive impact on the post-war nation, the ambassador added.

Editor: Yan

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