Six private sector agribusinesses have received letters of qualification from the United States Agency for International Development’s LADA Co-Investment Fund to improve their enterprises.
LADA is Liberia Agribusiness Development Agency.
Speaking at the official opening of CIF and LADA Bong County office recently, Madam Watchen Bruce, Agribusiness Private Advisor and Component Two Lead of USAID/LADA, said the six private sector agribusinesses met up with the preliminary criteria for the Co-Investment Fund (CIF) and they are pending verification of their matching fund.
The six agribusiness owners include Mr. Benedict Sampson, CEO of Moonlight Metal Works and Garage in Bong County, which specializes in the manufacturing and repair of agro processing tools. Ms. Bruce said CIF will be used to build large facilities to increase his business capacity and meet the demands of his clients.
Another beneficiary is the CEO of Selma Agriculture Development Corporation of Lofa County, Mr. John Selma. Mr. Selma has a rice processing firm and supplies rice to World Food Program (WFP) and Mary’s Meal. He will use the CIF to purchase larger and more efficient rice processing machines to increase his daily production.
Mr. Fabio Kamara, the CEO of WESCO Fisheries of Montserrado County is another qualifier for the USAID grant. His company works closely with artisanal fishermen to provide regional markets for Liberian fish producers. Their fishing activities are limited to dry season because they do not have access to the right tools and equipment during the rainy season.
The fund and matching loan proceeds will be used to purchase larger freezers and boats with modern technology that will enable them to increase their capacity and operate year round.
Ms. Annie Kruah, chairperson of Gbehly Geh Rural Women Farmers Multipurpose Corporative of Nimba County, an 86-plus member group that sells rice seeds and produces and processes rice, will also benefit from the grant. The fund will be used to purchase a larger rice processing plant to increase production to serve the WFP.
The rest of the beneficiaries are under the Liberia Entrepreneurial and Asset Development (LEAD) of Montserrado County, serving 13,000 micro agribusinesses in six counties; Agriculture Infrastructure and Investment Company of Lofa County, specializing in rice processing and rice seeds multiplication for smallholder farmers.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Moses Zinnah, congratulated the six private sector agribusinesses for meeting up with the criteria to improve their businesses.
Dr. Zinnah said private sector agribusinesses are contributing immensely to the growth of the country’s agricultural sector and promised to work along with private sector agribusinesses.