Posted by / Saturday 31 December 2016 / No comments

The causes of low agricultural output in Liberia

The land tenure system

One of the major causes of low agricultural productivity is the type of land tenure system. The land is owned by the people but held in trust by clan heads. Splitting the lands for family use has made it difficult to acquire land for commercial agricultural production.

Reluctance to commercially develop the land
Farmers who may be willing to commercially develop the land on a large scale are not ready to do so. This is because, they do not know if their investment is safe. A business man could irrigate the large track of land that he acquires by lease, for example, but does not know if he would allowed to extend his lease at the end of its expiration. The owners might want to take their land back, seeing it has been well resourced.

Lack of funds
Another major factor contributing to low agricultural production in Liberia is the absence of adequate financial resources to invest in agriculture.  The production of agricultural products is capital intensive. Most farmers in Liberia are not able to lay hands on the needed capital to undertake the farm business.

The role of commercial banks
The banks in Liberia are not ready to extend credit facility to the farmers. This is sometimes due to the fact that they do not have the requisite guarantee or collateral. The banks think that extending credit to the farmers is a risky venture so they are reluctant to do so. This is also a problem affecting productivity in Liberia.

Dependence on rain
The farmers in Liberia still largely depend on rain fed agriculture. However, the rains are not reliable. Sometimes they come too late or too early. Other times they come too heavily or too little. Most of the farmers cannot afford to established irrigation facilities to farm round the year. This is contributing to low agricultural production in Liberia.

Inadequate pest control
In Liberia, farmers are confronted with pest attacks. This destroys their entire crop production for the year. This is a disincentive e to the farmer. There are also diseases that affect livestock. Farmers can lose an entire stock of animals because of disease. When such things happen, they bring the level of agricultural production down.

Post harvest loses
Another source of low agricultural productivity is post harvest loses. There are inadequate storage facilities to store the harvest after production. So after production, some of the harvest gets rotten at the farm-gates especially during bumper harvest.  

1. Account for the factors that affect agricultural productivity in Liberia.

2. Highlight six factors that contribute to low agricultural productivity in Liberia.

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