FED Quarterly Report: April – June 2014

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 societies 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 societies and the private sector in providing communities access to agricultural inputs—including improved seed varieties—extension services, nutrition messages, processing services, market information, transportation, credit, agrobusiness education, training, and enterprise 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.

Executive Summary

USAID FED verified rice surplus available in Lofa County and provided this information, including where these inventories are located, to local processor Fabrar Liberia. FED facilitated the negotiation between Fabrar and the farmers by providing information on costs and the markets, and helping the processor and the farmers to agree on $19 USD price per 50kg bag of paddy rice. Fabrar Liberia made a 25 percent down payment of $5,785.50 USD for 1,200 bags of paddy rice, or 60.9 MT. Fabrar made it clear to rice farmers that they plan to purchase up to 40,000 bags of paddy rice, and as a result, Foya-based farmers reported another 1,500 bags of paddy rice in their inventories.

USAID FED in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) formally inaugurated and officially turned over three community-based Rice Business Hubs in Nimba County (Doumpa, Payee and Boweh) to beneficiary farming groups.

The Rice Business Hubs, which are intended to support the community’s ability to process and store their rice, are equipped with a storage facility, mill, de-stoner, thresher, solar dryer, parboiling machine, water source and latrines. These hubs will also be equipped with power tillers and rice threshers, which are managed by the farmers themselves. The hubs offer mechanized and storage services to rice farmers for a fee, and also serves as platform for rice trading where larger buyers can buy rice in bulk.

USAID FED and CARI inaugurated the CARI Livestock Quarantine Facility in Suakoko, Bong County. US Ambassador to Liberia, Ms. Deborah Malac, cut the ribbon at the inauguration attended by Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Ms. Seklau Wiles, the Head of Livestock Research at CARI, Dr. Arthur Karnuah, Land O’ Lakes Acting Chief of Party, Ms. Allison Williams, and USAID FED staff. Program partner Land O’ Lakes imported 209 goats for its goat restocking program throughout June 2014.

In May, USAID FED supported a goat trading event in Nimba County to pilot a marketing platform that aims to provide a formal and regular venue for traders and goat farmers to carry out buying and selling transactions. Traders expressed positive feedback and look forward to future similar such events. Goat sales generated $965 USD at this inaugural event.

In April, USAID FED supported the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) to hold the National M/SME Conference. This year’s conference highlighted agri-business and youth; USAID FED supported the event by providing human resource, logistical and technical support. USAID FED showcased its activities in the trade fair and produced a rice video documentary which was aired during the USAID FED sponsored policy forum and at the awards dinner.

The President of Liberia signed Executive Order #64, suspending import tariffs on “essential equipment, agricultural seeds, live animals for breeding, and other goods directly related to agricultural development.” USAID FED began to lobby for this in November 2013 and put together the list of agroinputs and corresponding HS codes for MoCI to use to lobby for the measure.

During the quarter, USAID FED and partners launched the Liberia Agriculture Business Enabling Environment Inter-agency Policy Group (LABEE IPG), an executive level policy group that will focus on improving the business enabling environment for agriculture.

Further Reading