MONROVIA, Montserrado – The World Bank has approved US$55 million in credit financing to address challenges in the agriculture sector in Liberia.
A June 4 press release said the new financing is meant to increase productivity and market access for smallholder farmers and agri-enterprises in Liberia. The new financing targets 60,000 persons, and “50 percent of the beneficiaries are mainly smallholder farmers and agri-entrepreneurs women engaged in the selected value chains.”
“This Rural Economic Transformation Project will use a multi-level approach to strengthen critical institutions responsible for overseeing the development of the agricultural sector and provide key services for producers and processors,” the press release read.
Accordingly, RETRAP will also build capacity at various stages of the value chain and support investment with new technologies and practices to increase productivity and ensure resilience to climate change.
RETRAP is expected to upgrade roads and modernize selected rural markets. It will be implemented in 11 of Liberia’s 15 counties, including Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Kru, Margibi, Montserrado, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, and Maryland.
“This new project fulfills the Bank’s commitment to support Liberia in transforming the agriculture sector by scaling up the level of financing and deploying the resources in a holistic way, including through an intervention for improving rural road infrastructure,” said Khwima Nthara, the World Bank’s country manager in Liberia.
The dispatch added that the project would strengthen the institutional capacity of beneficiary institutions to deliver agribusiness support services and build capacity and provide support, including technical assistance for adoption of new technologies and practices that will increase the productivity of the food system and its resilience to climate change.
These institutions include the Agriculture Ministry, Central Agricultural Research Institute – Soil and Crop Laboratory, National Standards Laboratory of Liberia, non-governmental organizations, and service providers engaged in implementing the project.
The project is expected to focus on farmers growing cassava, rubber, poultry, and pigs to target 12,000 farmers and increase yields by 30 percent over the next five years.
Featured photo by R. Raman/AfricaRice