first_imgThe World Bank has expressed dismay over the manner in which agriculture is neglected by African governments across the continent.Though a few countries on the continent are making headway in agriculture, the WB said many others, including Liberia, are yet to invest substantially to improve the sector.The regional taskforce team leader of the World Bank West Africa Project, Abdulai Toure, said the Government of Liberia should now see the need to commit more funding to the sector in order to make it more vibrant and productive.  The agriculture sector, with more investments, is capable of taking Liberians out of poverty. The WB team leader noted that the Liberian government should invest in human capacity, technology and provide financial programs that will solely be dedicated to agriculture. If these are done, he noted, the sector would transcend from its present state of under-performance to a better level that will bring improvement to the living conditions of the people.The WB official made these comments over the weekend when he addressed a joint press conference along with Agriculture Minister, Dr.  Florence Chenoweth, at the Ministry’s head office in Gardnersville, outside Monrovia.  Mr. Toure, along with a team, was in the country to access the impact of the Ebola Virus Disease and to see how the bank could help through the West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP).  He also took the opportunity to pay field visits to WAAPP project sites in the country.  Mr. Toure stated that Liberian government’s failure to promote agriculture contravenes the Malabo Declaration, to which it is a signatory. The Malabo Declaration is an agreement among African leaders to spend at least 10% of their national budgets on agriculture.   He noted that he was impressed with the level of work that is being done by WAAPP, especially its cassava production in Bomi County.Minister Blames Legislature, Government  Minister Chenoweth, for her part, expressed frustration over government’s failure to adhere to the Malabo Declaration blaming the Legislature for not paying attention to the sector.  She said the Liberian government has not supported the sector, which has the potential to absorb as many employees, especially young people, as possible with the potential to contribute substantially to Liberia’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP).She said there is, and has always been the need for the Liberian government to shoulder its responsibility and support the agriculture sector.  Minister Chenoweth however disclosed that the government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has pledged a commitment of investing US$35 million in the sector in order to boost its capacities and productivity.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgSANTIAGO, Chile – Poverty in Latin America decreased more slowly in 2012, with one million fewer Latin Americans living in poverty than in 2011, according to a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA).Poverty affects some 167 million Latin Americans, mostly women and children, or some 28.8 percent of all residents in the region, ECLA said.“Current poverty figures are the lowest we’ve seen in the past three decades, which is good news for the region. But we still face unacceptable [poverty] levels in many countries,” ECLA Secretary General Alicia Bárcena said.While the numbers are encouraging, according to ECLA, the slowing pace of poverty reduction is cause for concern.The year 2011 saw a reduction of 1.6 percent over 2010 in the number of Latin Americans affected by poverty, while the percentage of decrease this year over last was just 0.6 percent. Meanwhile, the number of people living in extreme poverty remained unchanged, totaling some 66 million people, the same as in 2011.“As in years past, the increase in wage income in poor homes was the most significant factor in poverty reduction,” the report said.Also mentioned was the “feminization of poverty,” which the report attributes to gender-based discrimination and segregation, lower salaries and fewer job opportunities in the formal labor sector, Bárcena said.Poverty also affects more than half of minors under 17, which is primarily linked to teen pregnancy “mostly in poor households,” Bárcena added.Paraguay, with 49.6 percent of its population living in poverty, is the most striking example. Next are the Dominican Republic (42.2 percent), Colombia (34.2 percent), Ecuador (32.4 percent) and Venezuela (29.5 percent).Paraguay also tops the list of countries whose residents live in extreme poverty (28 percent), followed again by the Dominican Republic (20.3 percent), Panama (12.4 percent), Venezuela (11.7 percent) and Colombia (10.7 percent).Argentina is the Latin American country with the lowest poverty level (5.7 percent), followed by Uruguay (6.7 percent) and Chile (11 percent). Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more