Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe, the Presidential aspirant says he is appalled by the continuous import of rice into the local market amidst the abundant land in Liberia. It is disappointing that Liberia is unable to feed itself despite all the rich soil and swamplands, which are suitable for the cultivation of rice and other produce. Dr. Whapoe alleged that Liberia is experiencing a capital flight of US$480 million annually on rice imports. Speaking at the Foundation for Better Liberia (FOBEL) intellectual center at Barnesville Junction, Dr. Whapoe said when he is elected as president in October, he would introduce mechanize farming. He noted that his party, Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT), would turn farmers into millionaires when he is voted into power. “We are in slavery. You cannot say that you are independent and can’t produce the food that you eat,” Dr. Whapoe lamented.
Dr. Whapoe told the farmers that it is about time to come together and free the country from “farming-slavery to farming-prosperity.” He said the situation is retarding the country’s progress and noted “we are only making other countries richer by pumping US$480 million into their economy every year”. Dr. Whapoe alleged that some individuals in leadership are receiving US$1.00 on every bag of rice imported into the country at the expanse of the people although he did not provide evidence to substantiate his claims. He said President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and those before her have exhibited poor leadership skills by failing to solve the country’s problems.