USAID’s Food and Enterprise Development (FED), has announced that it will conclude its five-year operation with an Agribusiness Expo. The theme of the event is, “Building a Food Secure Future in Liberia.” The Expo will take place on September 13 and 14 at the Monrovia City Hall.
Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai will deliver the opening remarks, the organization said in a press release.
FED is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under ‘Feed the Future,’ the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative active in 19 countries around the world, including 12 in Africa. FED operates in Liberia in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.
This Agribusiness Expo will provide opportunities for the agribusinesses (both formal and informal), farming clusters and support organizations assisted by FED to showcase their progress, products/services, and sustainability efforts. In addition to offering opportunities for networking and business development, the Expo is designed to recognize, celebrate and highlight the work of the groups with whom FED worked over the past five years.
The Expo will demonstrate how a market-driven approach was used to assist Liberia as it transitions from subsistence to commercial agriculture for increased food availability, access and utilization. Building blocks include an incentive structure to assist agricultural stakeholders in adopting commercial approaches.
This incentive structure is built upon: improved technology for productivity and profitability; expanded and modernized input supply and extension systems; commercial production, marketing, and processing; enterprise services; workforce development; a supportive enabling (policy) environment as well as research and development.
The Agribusiness Expo is expected to attract 150 participants from the public and private sectors, farmer groups, local and international NGOs, and representatives from the multi and bilateral donor communities. The format will include: (a) remarks by key government officials; (b) panel discussions analyzing the importance of strengthened value chain integration to achieve food security; (c) interactive workshops for learning and discussion; and (d) exhibition booths demonstrating products and services developed over the past five years.
USAID-FED has worked with the Ministries of Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, and Education; civil society and the private sector in providing communities with access to agricultural inputs, extension services, nutrition messages, processing services, market information, transportation, credit, agro-business education, training, and business development services.
More than 90,000 farmers and their families have benefitted from FED interventions. USAID-FED has expanded market linkages to increase incomes and job opportunities. It has significantly boosted the production, processing, marketing, and nutritional utilization of rice, cassava, and vegetables, as well as enhanced the productivity of goat farming in the counties covered by the program.
These initiatives have been implemented in Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Margibi counties. USAID-FED focused on these counties because they are situated along regional development corridors crucial to promoting intra and inter-county commerce. The emphasis on these growth corridors is improving food availability and access for all Liberians.