The USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program for Liberia is a USAID-funded development program 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.
Five USAID FED supported VSLA groups created the first Village Savings Groups Credit Union in Nimba County. Zoedoar Women VSLA, Karnplay Women VSLA, Dioplay VSLA, Garplay VSLA and Lapea # 1 VSLA contributed a total of US$ 500,000 towards the establishment of the Zoedoar Women Village Saving Groups Credit Union.
USAID-supported industrial rice processor, FABRAR Liberia, commenced rice procurement from USAID FED farmers in Bong, Nimba, and Lofa counties. In October, FABRAR Liberia secured a contract to supply 90 MT of rice to the World Food Programme (WFP). FABRAR supplied 90.55 MT of milled rice to WFP valued at US$63,385 in November. It is anticipated that FABRAR will procure an additional 148 MT of paddy rice valued at US$50,320 from USAID FED-supported rice farmers during the month of December.
USAID FED facilitated the third inspection by Center of Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) technicians of the two screening sites with improved cassava varieties imported from the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in FY14 in Lofa County. During the inspections, varieties were inspected for adaptability, sprouted cuttings and reactions of genotypes to Cassava Mosaic Disease. USAID FED maintained 2 supervisors, 2 technicians and 30 laborers to provide day-to-day management and maintenance support to these sites.
USAID FED contracted input supply dealer, Gro-Green, resumed the establishment of greenhouses in the FY14 vegetable clusters. By the end of November, Gro-Green had installed 4 greenhouses in Mawah, Chosen General Church Women and Youth Empowerment Project (CGCWYEP), Mulleh and White Plane clusters. USAID FED is expected to construct a total of 20 protected cultivation sites across the 4 counties in the FY14 implementation sites.
USAID FED, in collaboration with international development organization BRAC and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), planned to conduct a Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) vaccination campaign in October 2014. However, due to the Ebola outbreak, BRAC and MoA deferred the activity to FY15. Meetings were held with the BRAC Country Representative to plan for the implementation of the PPR vaccination campaign in Q2 (March to April). USAID FED and BRAC are awaiting a response from MoA in December regarding the Ministry’s commitment to purchase the required vaccines. It is expected that at least 150,000 animals will be vaccinated nationwide.
USAID FED developed a nutrition poster in collaboration with MoA. The poster is intended for use in disseminating nutrition messages, and was tested during a one day Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop by VSLA chairladies and Community Field Officers (CFOs) in Lofa County. During the workshop, a total of 25 participants (2 male, 23 female) received nutritional messages and learned about diet diversification and the importance of proper nutrition for pregnant women and children. In addition, participants learned about the importance of disseminating accurate messages to members of their groups and respective communities.