The Liberia Agri-business Development Activity (LADA), a Feed the Future global food security initiative of the U.S Government for Liberia, has launched the Agri-business Investment Network (AIN) of Liberia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture. The AIN was launched on Wednesday, November 16, at the 2016 Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise (MSME) Conference in Monrovia.
The AIN aims to bring together stakeholders and decision makers to support farm producers, processors and buyers to increase agricultural investment through policy formulations that will help ensure the sustainability of the country’s agricultural sector.
Sylvian Roy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), who launched the program, said AIN is a LADA initiative in collaboration with the Government of Liberia to build the capacities of smallholder farmers through the advocacy of policies that will create the enabling environment for agricultural activities.
He said AIN will connect farm producers and processors to national and international market opportunities to improve incomes.
“The AIN is an important milestone to creating opportunities for local farmers to get access to markets. It shall gather information on the agricultural sector of Liberia and problems hindering the sector for the formulation of policies that could enhance food security,” Mr. Roy said.
He added that smallholder farmers’ capacities will grow through training in business management to properly manage their agricultural businesses.
“AIN will be managed by the Business Start-up Center (BSC) Monrovia in consultation with LADA and the MoA to ensure the day to day functions of networking agri-businesses in the country,” he said.
BSC is a local business service development provider that is working to develop many Liberian small businesses.
BSC director William R. Dennis said his institution is excited to partner with LADA as well as the government on the establishment of AIN to create a favorable business climate for agriculture entrepreneurs.
He promised his organization’s commitment to ensure AIN’s smooth functioning.
For his part, Commerce Minister Axel Addy thanked the government and people of the United States of America for their numerous contributions toward the development and transformation of small businesses in the country.
LADA is a five year, US$20 million agriculture project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with the aim of improving agricultural production in Liberia. The project is implemented by CNFA, an international NGO, in four counties in Liberia, namely Bong, Nimba, Lofa, and Montserrado.