Elton W. Tiah, FPA Contributor — Concern Worldwide, a non-governmental organization, on Friday, August 3, launched an agricultural project in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County to benefit 6,600 small farmers and 220 communities in Liberia.
The project under the theme: "Prosperous Agriculture Roadmap to Nutrition, Entrepreneurship and Reinforcing Sustainability (PARTNERS)," is expected to be carried out in the North West and South East Coastal Regions of Liberia to include; Grand Kru, Sinoe, Margibi, Rivercess, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Grand Bassa Counties.
PARTNERS seeks to strengthen value chains in five strategic crops, which require quality standards for consumption; increased operational capacity and technical expertise of national implementing partners to sustainably implement current and future programs and several others.
Amy Frost, Country Director of Concern Worldwide, said the five-year project is meant to improve the productivity and sustainability of nutrition-sensitive agriculture at the level of smallholder farmers.
"This project will improve post provision of inputs, regular coaching and linking farmers to markets. It also seeks to improve post-harvest management to increase food security for small holder's farmers and rural households throughout the years, counteract seasonal food availability and price fluctuations," she asserted.
"This project starts this 2018 and will run to December 2022. There will be 6,600 farmers and 220 communities to benefit from this project which overall budget is 13,333,333.00 euros".
She added that the project will only be successful only if the smallholder farmers support the partners by working with them collaboratively in every positive direction.
Janjay Baikpeh, Superintendent of Grand Bassa, added that the project will improve the livelihood of small farmers in the country.
"This is an opportunity for you the smallholder farmers in Grand Bassa. I want you all to put in time for this project to be successful because if it is successful, it will help improve your lives and not the partners who are spending the money," Baikpeh said.
"As I launch this project I want all of us to take it as our own project and not the partner's project. If we erase that false notion then we are heading to a better agricultural sector in Liberia".
Gus Garmondeh, Statutory district Superintendent of District four I Grand Bassa County, praised the partners for the project, suggesting that the project is for the locals and not the partners.
"I want to say a big thank you to Concern and the other partners for thinking about the smallholder farmers. We want to assure you that we are going to make sure that we succeed," he asserted.
Mercy Tidoe, a representative of the marketing association, stressed that the citizens of Liberia need to work harder and grow their own food as partners are always willing to support Farmers.
"We all need to go back to the soil and when partners come in to help, we need to encourage them by working harder," Ms. Tidoe noted.
The project is implemented by Welthungerhlife (WHH) as lead applicant and three international NGOs; ZOA, Concern Worldwide (Concern) and SPARK as co-applicant in cooperation with several local partners.