The production and marketing coordinator of ZOA-Liberia, Michael Dey, has disclosed that his institution is working with smallholder farmers and processors in Liberia’s cassava sector to improve food and nutrition security through the cassava value chain.
Mr. Dey made the statement recently in Suakoko, Bong County to this newspaper in an exclusive interview during a workshop.
The project is funded by the European Union and seeks to assist smallholder cassava farmers by teaching them improved skills in production and developing the processing capacity of processors.
It is implemented in six counties, including Bong, Gbarpolu, Margibi, Montserrado, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount.
“Currently under the Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Ministry of Agriculture, cassava production highlights nutrition sensitive agriculture so our institution has produced various dishes of cassava products that possess high nutritional value.
“We have fufu powder fortified with soya bean, gari mixed with beans and varieties of high nutritional products,” he said.
He said there is a need for Liberians to diversify their diets by taking advantage of these various cassava products on the local market.
Mr. Dey stated that the project is linking cassava farmers with processors to improve income generation and causing many farmers to adopt improved methods of cassava production.
“We are collaborating with the MOA and other partners to make sure that we enhance nutrition sensitive agriculture through the cassava value chain. This initiative is greatly helping to improve the income of smallholder farmers in the targeted counties,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ZOA-Liberia production and marketing coordinator has disclosed plans to extend their activity to other parts of the country, if funding is provided by donor organizations.