The Minister of Agriculture Dr. Mogana S. Flomo, Jr., and the European Union Ambassador to Liberia, Hélène Cavé, have jointly launched the EU-Liberia Agriculture Programme or EULAP in Monrovia, targeting seven counties in Liberia over the next five years.
The program is a prosperous agriculture roadmap to nutrition, entrepreneurship and reinforcing sustainability effort. According to a press statement, to be commonly known as the PARTNERS Project, the initiative reflects the European Union’s ongoing dedication and commitment towards sustainable development in Liberia.
It is funded by the Rural Development component of the EU - Liberia Agriculture Programme under which the EU is providing funding of €12 million or approximately US$14 million, with a further €1.3 million contributed by implementing partners.
The project aims to support farmers and businesses to realise the enormous potential of the Liberian agricultural sector with a view to contributing to the country’s social and economic development.
EU Ambassador here Hélène Cavé, says the effort is a sign of how seriously the EU takes agriculture and food security in Liberia, which is considered a priority by the new Government in the pro poor agenda of President George Weah.
The statement says the project will be implemented by a consortium led by Welthungerhilfe (WHH), with ZOA, Concern Worldwide and SPARK.
The consortium will involve several local partners, and work in close collaboration with the Government of Liberia at a national and county level, running up to January 2023.
Among others, the initiative aims to increasing agricultural production by smallholder farmers, boosting agricultural value chains to revitalize the agricultural economic sector, providing technical support and investment to Liberia’s emerging agro-enterprises as well as increasing utilization of nutritious food by vulnerable households.
It also aims to improve productivity, resilience and sustainability of nutrition sensitive agricultural practices at smallholder farmers’ level and vulnerable households in Liberia’s North-Western and South-Eastern coastal regions, specifically Grand Kru, Sinoe, Rivercess, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties, respectively.
According to EU statistics, six out of Liberia’s 15 counties still have critical levels of chronic malnutrition, while nearly 40 percent of children under age five suffer from stunting because of chronic undernourishment.
A background from the statement details that In Liberia, large scale commercial agriculture is focussed mainly on the cultivation of export commodities such as palm oil and rubber, while the rest of the farming systems are small-scale, poorly resourced, and lack processing and marketing, meaning production cannot meet national demand for staple foods. Press Statement