FED Activity Highlights: February 2014

Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Activity Highlights for February 1st-15th, 2014

  • FED held a Trader Support Forum February 6-7 at the Red Light Market to facilitate market arrangements between farmers and traders. Thirty traders and 28 farmers drafted what they wanted to appear in forthcoming MoUs. Farmers want buyers to purchase their produce at the collection sites, while traders wanted consistency in supply.
  • FED signed a MOU with USAID Liberia Energy Sector Support Project (LESSP) to jointly assist the adoption of renewable energy electricity generators to power the first industrial rice processing in Liberia. Fabrar Inc. expects to start milling locally grown rice by mid-2014 and will be sourcing a large portion of its grain rice to feed the mill from FED’s beneficiaries. The partnership highlights FED and LESSP’s aim to implement sustainable programs in Liberia’s agriculture and energy sectors.
  • FED accompanied officials from USDA to the CARI Livestock Quarantine Facility to discuss the course of action for partner Land O’Lakes’ goat importation activity. As a result of the visit, CARI and Land O’Lakes made commitments to sign a MoU, and FED was requested to assist in formulating the nutrition for the goats while in quarantine.
  • FED hosted a second Policy Dialogue in which Rice Policy Expert, Dr. Eric Wailes, contended that with the right incentives and policy environment it is possible for Liberia to increase rice production and prevent its self-sufficiency rating from declining as a result of pressure from increasing rate of consumption.
  • FED conducted voucher training in Kakata on February 14. Twenty lead farmers and eight agro-dealers participated in the exercise which raised awareness about the voucher program. The program will benefit 350 vegetable farmers. Voucher distribution begins March 13 and will continue until March 30, 2014.
  • FED developed a framework to track the progress of the agriculture demonstration plots at each Center of Excellence. This tool will facilitate discussion at the Strategic Business Planning workshop on February 27-28, 2014. Management representatives from the Booker Washington Institute and the three community colleges that FED is assisting will participate in the workshop.
  • FED completed the Terms of Reference to design a National Business Development and Advisory Center. The facility will be based in Monrovia and run in collaboration with the Liberia Investing in Business Expansion (IBEX) Program.
  • FED conducted a road mapping exercise of FED project locations. FED is working with the USAID Road Project to map farm to market roads in the areas where FED has activities.
  • FED signed contracts for 23 sawyers in Nimba County. The sawyers will work in the selected communities to produce the wood used to build the shelters for FY14 goat farmers.
  • FED’s 20 vegetable groups began constructing stands for the drip irrigation kits to be used in their vegetable farming activities.
  • FED facilitated Rice Value Chain Extension Training “Rice Production and Best Field Practices” in Gbarnga, Bong county. A total of 37 lead farmers and 15 NGOs working with FED learned improved rice growing methods and technologies.
  • FED collected baseline information on two existing cassava processing plants and two cassava cutting sites/nurseries to determine their eligibility for inclusion in the FED FY14 Cassava Value Chain strategy.
  • FED selected four community radio stations as partners for FY14. The radio stations will participate in the Stakeholder Roundtable Meeting on Spreading Agriculture Messages through Radio in March 2014.
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