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 CADMUS.
During the month of May, FED commenced the roll out of training and demonstration farm establishments for rice and cassava across the six counties (Lofa, Nimba, Bong, Grand Bassa, Margibi and Montserrado). All Urea Deep Placement (UDP) field trial sites are now prepared and ready for demonstrations. Goat shelter construction continued this month and completion of all shelters is expected by the end of June. This month also saw the conclusion of the second phase of the FED internship program with 164 interns graduating from practical agri-business work experience with 47 organizations. Component Two completed a survey that would help quantify demand and understand quality and quantity standards of large buyers of vegetables and cassava products in Liberia.