BRAC-Liberia and the European Union (EU) have launched a 2-year food and nutrition security project that is aimed at assisting vulnerable rural Liberians, who are engaged in agricultural practices.
The project, which costs US$1.5 million, was launched on Monday, January 30, at a resort in Monrovia.
The ceremony brought together EU Ambassador to Liberia Tiina Intelmann, Agriculture Minister Moses Zinnah, a representative from the World Bank and several other distinguished personalities.
The project, funded under the EU Global Food Security Program will be implemented in Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bong, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties.
Accordingly, BRAC will work in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture to support the government’s Liberia Agriculture Transformation Agenda (LATA).
For that, BRAC-Liberia said vulnerable farming communities in the targeted counties that are engaged in food value chain such as rice, poultry, swine, vegetables and small ruminants (sheep and goats) are expected to benefit.
Ambassador Intelmann said the project will contribute to achieve sustainable development goals, help end hunger, and improve food and nutrition security for the vulnerable poor.
“This will also develop resilient agriculture, create additional market opportunities to increase farmers’ income and improve food nutrition,” Intelmann said.
She then promised the EU’s commitment to continue supporting Liberia’s strives to improve food security to reduce poverty.
She used the occasion to thank BRAC for demonstrating commitment to the implementation of the project.
Minister Zinnah, who lauded the EU for funding the project, expressed optimism that it will help address nutritional challenge in the country.
“Statistic shows that 40 percent of our people are food insecure, so this program is important to contribute to the improvement of nutrition and reduce poverty,” Zinnah said.
He promised his administration’s willingness to work with BRAC to ensure that the project succeeds.
BRAC Country Representative, Mainuddin Ahmed informed the gathering that the organization is committed to develop the livelihood of the poor through agriculture in Liberia.
For that reason, he extended gratitude to the EU for consistently funding agriculture projects through BRAC.
“The project,” I can assure you, “will surely help beneficiaries to cope with the challenges in production, provide quality nutritious food and improve market linkages for farmers” Ahmed said.
Dr. Margaret Kilo, the African Development Bank’s (AFDB) Country Representative, stressed the need for the Ministry of Agriculture to intensify its communications program to enhance food security in the country.
She said if the government wants the citizens actively participate in farming activities, the MOA must introduce efficient communication in the sector.
“Many of the citizens, especially the unemployed youth, are yet to take advantage of the job opportunities in agriculture,” she emphasized.