The USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program is a flagship Feed the Future (FtF) Initiative USAID-funded development program in Liberia that was launched in September 2011. USAID FED uses an all-inclusive strategy incorporating MSME farmers, processors, suppliers, women, and youth while partnering with the government of Liberia and local civil society to achieve food security.
The goal of USAID FED is to increase food availability, utilization, and accessibility by building an indigenous incentive structure that assists agricultural stakeholders in adopting 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
- Workforce development
USAID FED works with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), civil society and the private sector in providing communities access to agricultural inputs, extension services, nutrition messages, processing services, market information, transportation, credit, agro-business education, training, and business development services.
In five years, USAID FED’s thrust to expand market linkages is expected to lead to substantial increases in income and job opportunities. USAID FED aims to significantly boost the production, processing, marketing and nutritional utilization of rice, cassava and vegetables, and to enhance the productivity of goat farming in the counties covered by the program.
These initiatives are being carried out in Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Margibi counties. USAID FED focuses on these counties because they are situated along regional development corridors that are crucial in promoting intra and inter-county commerce. These growth corridors are expected to improve food availability and access for all Liberians.
USAID FED’s methodology is market-led and value chain-driven; it is committed to developing indigenous capacity building, with a specific focus on Liberia’s women and youth.
USAID FED is implemented by five partners: Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), Winrock International, International Fertilizer Developmental Center (IFDC), Louisiana State University (LSU), and The Cadmus Group.
On April 9th, 2015 the President of Liberia, H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, were in Kakata, Margibi County to officially inaugurate Liberia’s first industrial rice processing and warehousing facility, Fabrar Liberia Inc. Fabrar Liberia Inc. (Fabrar) is a fully incorporated, Liberian owned and run agriculture holding firm created in 2009. In 2014, with financial and technical support from the U.S. Government through the USAID Food and Enterprise Development (USAID FED) program and private equity financing from West Africa Venture Fund, Fabrar was able to procure an automated rice processing mill and expand its warehouse facilities. The industrial scale facility, now with double its previous capacity, can mill 30 metric tons (MT) of rice each day and store 1,000-MT with proper ventilation and protection from pests, mold, fungus and mildew. As the country’s largest rice processor, and currently, the only industrial processor, Fabrar Liberia Inc. will provide Liberian farmers with an incentive and motivation to grow quality rice as a business and not just for subsistence.
During April, 3,482MT of cassava tubers from FY13 FED beneficiaries were sold for USD $186,529.10. A total of 8,995.83MT of cassava has been harvested of which 7,717MT has been sold for USD $606,823.62 year to date. Also, during April, a total of 13 micro-processors procured 149.76MT of cassava tubers valued at USD $17,960.50 from FY13 and FY14 USAID FED supported cassava farmers. The micro-processors further sold 185.84MT of processed cassava at a cumulative value of USD $70,826.25 during the same period.
In April, from the FY14 and FY15 goat production sites, a total of 486 goats were sold for USD $32,055.00. In total, 3,862 goats from the FY14 and FY15 production intensification sites have been sold for USD $206,449.78 year to date.
In April Zeelie Farmers Association purchased and sold 3,000 50kg bags to MoA with a sales value of USD $60,000. 60% of the rice was purchased from USAID FED supported farmers while 40% was purchased from non-USAID FED farmers in Lofa. USAID FED will continue to support Zeelie Farmers Association with technical assistance to further procure additional paddy rice for the local market.
In April, the multi-purpose science laboratory renovation works commenced at the four Centers of Excellence Institutions (CoE). During the month, the firms commenced the construction of the water towers and generator rooms. The CoE’s Administration is working closely with the construction firms and Global Construction Mechanical Company (GCMC) supervisors to ensure that work is progressing according to the plan. Once completed these science labs will be able to generate revenue for the CoEs through services such as soils and seed testing.