By Dipo Olowookere
A grant of €5 million has been put down by the European Union (EU) and Solidaridad West Africa to help develop the cocoa sector in Liberia.
Business Post gathered that the project targets the entire cocoa value chain in Liberia, and envisages working with and training of 5000 cocoa farmers.
The signing of the grant was witnessed by Emma Sundblad, Chargé d’affaires at the Delegation of the European Union to Liberia; and Isaac Gyamfi, Regional Director at Solidaridad West Africa.
Under the so called Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme (LICSIP), Solidaridad, with funding from the European Union, and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, will work with farmers and agro-businesses to improve the quality of Liberian cocoa and increase cocoa exports. Solidaridad will also work with the government on sector policies and regulations to create a vibrant, competitive and profitable cocoa economy. The project will last for 4 years
It was further gathered that activities include distribution of planting and other input materials, linking farmers and agro-dealers to international suppliers and buyers, support to the government of Liberia and specifically the Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority (LACRA), and finally branding and marketing of Liberian cocoa on the international market.
The project will be implemented in Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties, with Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Gbarpolu Counties as the secondary counties.
The Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme is the first contract to be signed under the EU Liberia Agriculture Programme, a €30 million programme financed by the EU with the objective to boost agricultural economic development and to improve the food and nutrition security in Liberia
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