The Ministry of Agriculture has launched an estimated $ 22.38 million in agricultural-related assistance to finance smallholder farmers and agricultural activities in the sector.
The grant program is part of the Liberian Agricultural Trade Fund (LACF), part of the Ministry’s Small Agricultural Transformation and Agricultural Trade Revival Project (STAR-P).
A virtual event in Morovia began on Friday, September 10, 2021, with the presence of Finance Adviser Chair, Minister of Agriculture Jean M. Cooper and development and multi-stakeholder partners, as well as other local stakeholders. .
LCF seeks to increase agricultural productivity, trade and competitiveness among smallholder farmers in rice, oil palm and fruit and vegetable value chains through related assistance programs. Speaking at the launch of the program, the Minister of Agriculture urged farmers and agricultural business owners to come up with attractive proposals and submit the same to the Ministry for assistance.
“If we want to develop the agricultural value chain, we need innovation. These grants are intended to enhance everything from the agricultural value chain to production and waste disposal, ”he said.
He stressed that the development of the sector cannot be left to the government alone. During the meeting, he said, “You, the members of the private sector, need to be innovative in developing agricultural programs to ensure food security in the country.”
According to the MOA, Deloitte, a global financial institution, has been recruited to run the STAR-P project fund for the remaining three and a half years.
The beneficiaries of the program are 38,000 smallholder farmers, 30 percent of whom are women and youth. Among the beneficiaries are agribusiness and trade development enterprises, oil palm and fruit value chains, and other value chains that have good business connections for smallholder farmers in rice, and integrate smallholder farmers’ intervention areas.
Meanwhile, Deliotte said he has received ideas from farmers and agro-pastoralists in Lofa, Nimba, Great Gideh, Maryland, Sino, Margibi, Bomi, the Great Cape Mountains and Gabrpolu districts. .