Liberian women who play crucial roles as farmers, laborers and entrepreneurs face greater challenges than men in accessing needed resources.
To combat this, the USAID Food and Enterprise Development Program (USAID FED) for Liberia has partnered with agricultural women’s groups to provide access to these needed resources.
FED’s work with the Gbehley-geh Rural Women Farmers’ Cooperative Society (GRWFCS), located in Karnplay, Nimba County, is one example of this partnership.
In April 2015, with support from USAID FED, members of the GRWFCS sold 39 metric tons of milled rice to the World Food Program (WFP), to earn USD $28,860 which equates to USD $37 per 50 kg bag.
The women also sold 800 50 kg bags of paddy rice to Liberia Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in April, and generated an additional USD $16,000 (USD $20 per 50 kg bag).
“We have been able to obtain a contract from WFP to supply milled rice through the support of USAID FED, which has helped us generate substantial additional income,” said Annie Kruah, chairlady of GRWFCS.
Annie established the GRWFCS organization in 2005 to create economic opportunities for women who became widows during the Liberian civil war.
In 2013, Annie and 86 other women entered into a partnership with USAID FED under GRWFCS to develop 15 hectares of lowland rice with improved seeds and technical assistance.
In 2015, the women extended their rice field to 20 hectares to commence planting with support from USAID FED.
Additionally, USAID FED supplied the women with tools, fertilizers and cassava processing equipment in early 2015 to improve their processing capacity, which was previously done manually.
Now, these women can process up to 1 MT a week compared to the 0.5 MT per week they were able to process previously.
The women also cultivated 1 hectare of farmland and planted this with improved cassava variety provided by USAID FED.
The Gbehley-geh women farmers have benefitted from tools, seeds and other inputs from USAID FED in 2015. This assistance will further increase their production capacity and subsequently generate more income.