Cassava is the second staple food for Liberians, but the production and marketing is still faced with numerous challenges, including limited access to improved planting materials, technologies and training.
As part of an effort to ensure that smallholder cassava farmers and processors access needed assistance from the government, the Secretariat of the National Cassava Sector Coordinating Committee (NCSCC), an umbrella organization of cassava farmers and processors, said they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rural Economic Transformation Project, (RETRAP), to engage in developing the cassava value chain.
RETRAP is a World Bank funded project of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) that seeks to develop or enhance competitiveness and market access in the cassava, livestock and rubber value chains, through productive alliances as well as strengthening agri-marketing and also engaging in road infrastructure investments.
The MOU aims to support the NCSCC with capacity building so as to enhance necessary interventions for members of the cassava sector.
Accordingly, RETRAP has provided materials and financial support to the NCSSC, valued at approximately US$35,000 as part of capacity building toward the organization to help reach needed services to the cassava sector.
The Secretariat of the organization says the material support includes several desktop computers, heavy duty printers, projector and a large assortment of stationary supplies.
It further said that the support from RETRAP is intended to begin the process of strengthening its capacity and increasing its effectiveness in the management of the cassava sector.
The Cassava Sector Secretariat went on to say that it highly appreciates the support from RETRAP, describing the gesture as a mark of true partnership with the cassava sector.
Meanwhile, the leadership said they are looking up to more international partners to support the sector.
“We are calling on other international partners to provide support for the development of the sector’s data collection capacity, which is the prerequisite for effective planning and the provision of full support to the farmers, to increase productivity and livelihood,” the secretariat said.