Liberia obtains funding to strengthen its cocoa sector

The Government of Liberia and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed two financing agreements on Thursday, November 21, for a total amount of $32 million. This contribution will mainly benefit the country’s cocoa sector.

The signing ceremony took place in Monrovia, and brought together Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, and the representative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which continues its commitment to the West African country. By March, the organization had already allocated $25 million to the rice, oil palm and horticulture value chains.

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With regard to the last two agreements signed, the first financing agreement will mobilize $23 million for a project called the « Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P) », a programme that, according to the Minister, will primarily serve to « increase cocoa production, mainly through replanting, by ensuring a real increase in its production ». As for the recipients, nearly 38,000 smallholders - at least 30% of them women and young farmers - as well as some agribusinesses active in the brown gold sector should benefit directly from this windfall. The second agreement will provide $9 million for a Tree Crop Extension Project (TCEP), the funds being mainly for the rehabilitation of rural roads in Nimba County (northern Liberia), where a substantial proportion of Liberian cocoa is produced. As the ninth largest African bean producer (12,000 tonnes in 2017/2018 according to the International Cocoa Organization), Liberia has been seeking to strengthen its sector for several years and, as such, is increasing requests for assistance and cooperation from outside.