Monrovia — European Union Ambassador to Liberia Hélène Cavé has expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Program, LICSIP.
The EU head of Delegation made the disclosure on Thursday, December 20, 2019 in Nyarta, Bong County, after touring several interventions of the program including, a cocoa nursery and several model farms. "I wanted to see to if we can register some progress after few months, since the project was launched, and I am very happy because the answer is yes," she said.
Ambassador Cavé also said it was amazing to see how the implementation was already positively impacting the lives of the communities in which they were being implemented. "The communities already see the benefits of the program, because they have learned new techniques and they see how important it is to have seasonal crops alongside the cocoa," she noted.
The EU diplomat said farmers are already earning some money from the program, not the cocoa itself, but from other crops, and they are already seeing some improvements in their daily lives. She said this is something that is very motivating for them. "Some will tell you that they can buy rice and send their children to school. And if I can send these messages back to the EU, people will be very happy to see that their money is well used, this is very positive."
On the issue of a possible extension of the program which is being financed under the 11th European Union Development Fund, Ambassador Cavé pointed out that it was too early to speak to that. She however noted that a project that works well as the LICSIP will always have something after. "Maybe not an extension, but a LICSIP 2, as we are very impressed with what we have seen so far," she said.
She called on the farmers to continue being positive, believing that this will work. "Some of them told us that they have never had such a support, so the financial support from the EU along with the technical expertise from Solidaridad is a very good spirit. The Ambassador spent the day visiting sites in Totota, Nyarta and Geayard, all in Bong County. She met with thrilled farmers and women groups who work at the nurseries and on the farms. She was joined by senior staff of Solidaridad West Africa, Liberia (SWAL) and officials of the National Authorizing Office (NAO) of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).