Press release No: IFAD/01/2012 Rome,10 January 2012.The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$24.9 million loan to the Republic of Liberia to improve food security and reduce post conflict poverty in rural communities.
The loan agreement for the Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalisation Support Project was signed today by Mohamed Sheriff, Ambassador of the Republic of Liberia and Kevin Cleaver, Associate Vice President, Programmes at IFAD.
Development of the agriculture sector is a top national priority of the Liberian government. Although agriculture is the largest employer in the country, it is facing major challenges. This new project will aim to increase the incomes of cocoa and coffee producers by raising the quantity of produce sold. The project will revitalize 50 per cent of existing plantations and restore 315 kilometres of rural road networks to improve access to market centres for more than 280,000 people. In addition, the project will strengthen both the private sector and extension services to smallholder farmer cooperatives by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The project will reach out to the most vulnerable rural farming households in Lofa County, where the highest number of smallholder cocoa and coffee producers live; most of Liberia’s poor people live in this area. More than 15,000 smallholder cocoa and coffee farmers, of which half are women, will benefit directly from the project.
With this new project, IFAD will have financed 5 programmes and projects in Liberia for a total investment of $38.3 million benefitting 30,000 households.
For more information about Projects in Liberia see Western Africa Projects