The Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program for Liberia is a USAID-funded initiative that began in September 2011. Through implementing a Liberian strategy which incorporates women and youth, FED is helping the government of Liberia and the country achieve food security — in terms of food availability, utilization, and accessibility — by building an indigenous incentive structure that assists a range of agricultural stakeholders to adopt commercial approaches.
This incentive structure is built upon:
- Improved technology for productivity and profitability;
- Expanded and modernized input supply and extension systems;
- Commercial production, marketing, and processing;
- Enterprise Services; and
- Workforce Development.
FED works with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the private sector to link communities to agricultural inputs (including improved seeds), extension services, nutritious food products, processing services, market information, transportation, credit, as well as appropriate education, training, and enterprise services.
Over the life of the five-year FED program, expanded market linkages will lead to substantial income and job growth along with major increases in the production, processing, marketing, and nutritional utilization of rice, cassava, vegetables, and goats in Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Margibi counties. These counties are being targeted in the context of regional development corridors that foster intra- and inter-county commerce, simultaneously improving food availability and access for all Liberians.
FED’s methodology is market-led, value chain-driven, continuously dedicated to indigenous capacity building, and specifically focused on benefiting Liberia’s women and youth. FED’s approach aims to be collaborative, catalytic, and driven by the goals and objectives of our partner clients. It will lead to increased incomes for rural households, new employment opportunities for Liberians, expanded access to food and improved household dietary diversity scores for food-insecure Liberians, in addition to the adoption of improved inputs, farming practices, and technologies which boost agricultural productivity.
FED is implemented by five partners including: Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), Winrock International, International Fertilizer Developmental Center (IFDC), Louisiana State University, and The Cadmus Group.
During the month of April, FED implemented many activities including: the roll out of the rice production activities, preparation of sites for Urea Deep Planting (UDP) field trials, sites selection for new generational women, assessment for component one rice team, construction of parboiling floors and goat shelters, market assessment for rice, completion and validation with stakeholders of extension materials for PUA, release of the RFP for the to conduct a national and regional cassava market study and completion of the training module for “Farming as a Business.” From April 24 to 26, the ED team supported the first annual MoCI MSME 2013 Conference and Trade Fair: “From Vision to Implementation – Buying Liberian Building Liberia”.