Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Activity Highlights for February 1st-15th, 2015
- Afriland Bank undertook a field assessment of Selma Development Corporation’s operations and investments in order to determine whether this aggregator could qualify for a loan from the bank. USAID FED and IBEX assisted Mr. Selma to prepare and submit the loan application to the bank during early February. The outcome of the assessment is expected during the third week of February. A positive evaluation will enable Mr. Selma to access US$100,000 as trade credit to be used for purchasing of paddy rice from farmers in Lofa County.
- USAID FED partnered with AVRDC -The World Vegetable Center to conduct field trials of vegetable varieties sourced from AVRDC’s research centre in Mali in order to assess for adaptability to local conditions. Seed varieties that grow favorably will be introduced to farmers through seed kits for planting in vegetable gardens in order to address household malnutrition and supplement incomes. AVRDC will be implementing the Deploying Vegetable Seed Kits to Tackle Malnutrition in Liberia project through funding from the Bureau of Food Security in Nimba and Bong Counties. AVRDC has provided USAID FED with 3.2Kg of seeds of five vegetable varieties for these field trials.
- A public private partnership with the Royal Hotel in Monrovia was developed to establish a market link for high value vegetables produced by USAID FED assisted farmers. The Royal Hotel has made an initial order of cabbage after they received samples harvested from the rain shelter production site in Careysburg, Montserrado County.
- ACDI/VOCA’s Farmer to Farmer Program deployed a goat breeding specialist, Dr. Daniel Miller, to Liberia to provide technical assistance to USAID FED goat farmers on community goat breeding. Dr. Miller commenced training of goat farmers in Nimba County. It is expected that the Volunteer Specialist will assist CARI to develop a Nucleus Breeding Herd Management manual. This manual will be used to technically manage the Nucleus Breeding Herd facility that is anticipated to be established in CARI by April 2016.
- LSU’s Dr. Donald Breazeale consulted with community colleges in Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Bassa counties, as well as Booker Washington Institute, on development of business plans for the Centers of Excellence (COEs). Cost benefit analyses were in process for the 12 crops selected for focus: watermelon, hot pepper, cabbage, eggplants, sweet pepper, collard green, carrot, jute, potato green, tomato, radish and peanuts. Dr. Breazeale’s work will conclude in late-February with recommendations for the way forward on further development of these COEs.