FED Activity Highlights: March 2014

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

  • FED visited Nimba, Bong and Margibi counties to collect video footage for a documentary on FED’s rice activities in the counties. The FED rice video will be screened at the upcoming MoCI conference in April. All the different phases of construction of rice processing centers across Nimba County were adequately captured and the video is currently in post-production.
  • FED accompanied USAID and U.S. Department of State officials to FED sites in Montserrado, Margibi and Bong counties to meet vegetable ad rice farmers. The delegation visited the Mawah Farmer’s Association in Montserrado County, Horton Farm and Francis Lewis PUA clusters in Margibi County. The team also visited Garmue #1 and #2, Tohlo Women and Welekermah cassava groups in Bong County and the Livestock Quarantine Facility at CARI.
  • FED and PUA farmers finalized the purchase of motorized water pumps for eight PUA clusters in Montserrado and Margibi counties. The FED-subsidized pumps were delivered to the farmers as a solution to address irrigation problems in the dry season.
  • LEAD has agreed to provide an emergency loan worth $162.50 USD for each of four FED vegetable clusters in Margibi county. The loans will be used to purchase motorized water pumps. FED shares 50 percent of the cost of the pumps according to an MoU signed earlier this year.
  • Two FED PUA clusters in Margibi and Nimba counties struck deals with large buyers. The Francis Lewis cluster in Margibi started trading with the Marketing Association while the Nimba-based Yekepa cluster sold vegetables to Liberian catering firm, ROSNA.
  • FED completed the PUA voucher registration, and voucher redemption begins March 19.
  • FED’s individual vegetable farmer association, United Farmers Association (UFA), made their first loan payment totaling LD $104,000 ($1,300 USD) to the Liberia Entrepreneurial & Asset Development (LEAD). UFA members used the loan proceeds to purchase inputs and labor to expand their farms to grow cucumber, cabbage, bitter-ball and pepper. UFA and the other groups with LEAD loans have until the end of April to repay their outstanding loan balances.
  • FED received approval from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to hire a legal consultant to draft the rice seed certification and crop protection legislation for ratification by the National Legislature. FED will hire the consultant in April.
  • FED held Goat Production and Herd Management Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops for lead farmers in Lofa and Nimba counties. Lead farmers learned proper record keeping methods, goat production methods and disease prevention and control methods. Nineteen (17 males, 2 females) farmers participated in the training in Lofa, and 27 (22 males and 5 females) participants attended the training in Nimba County.
  • FED integrated essential nutrition messages into the Rice Production Best Practices and Goat Production and Herd Management ToT workshops for a total of 108 participants.
  • FED finished the development of its seed certification training manual. International Seed Consultant, Josiah Wobil, developed the manual and made field visits to Bong County where he toured breeder and certified seed farms, seed processing/storage facilities. The training manual will be used to train rice seed inspectors.
  • FED visited seven seed companies to assess their ability to provide seed for FED’s rice seed multiplication program. FED will choose two companies to provide high quality, locally grown seeds for Liberian farmers. FED will make the selection in March.
  • At the Nimba Community College Center of Excellence in Agriculture, FED delivered and set-up the following equipment: 13 desktop and four laptop computers, 13 central processing units (CPU), 13 uninterrupted power supply units (UPS) and one scanner. FED’s IT Department set up the equipment.