Liberia: Cassava Sector's Capacity Enhanced for Service Delivery
Weak capacity of sectoral organizations still remains a serious challenge for Liberia's food security. Many organizations have limited capacity to work with the Ministry of Agriculture to enhance coordination.
The National Cassava Sector Coordination Committee (NCSCC), an umbrella organization of farmers and processors in the cassava sector, last week received equipment and some office materials to strengthen its capacity in delivering services within the sector.
The materials, which include desktop computers and other assorted office items, were provided by the Ministry of Agriculture's Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP).
RETRAP, is a World Bank funded project which focuses on cassava, piggery and poultry, rubber, value chains.
The presentation by the Project is intended to boost coordination between the MOA, with the NCSCC, as well as to strengthen its capacity and other private sector actors.
The NCSCC is the umbrella organization of all farmers, processors, traders and other value chain members of the cassava sector.
Established in 2010, by the Government, the organization's goal is to coordinate the activities of all of the players of the sector to improve cassava production.
Cassava is the second most important crop for Liberia. The government has earmarked the crop to reduce hunger.
However, the production of the crop is still faced with numerous challenges, something the World Bank funded project is working to address.
Over the last decade, cassava production in Liberia has been given some level of attention. There were projects that supported farmers and processors, yet the sector still faces constraints.
Through the RETRAP project, farmers and processors are expected to get grants to produce more raw cassava tubers and processed cassava products for the market. The grants will be extended to members of the sector to address their challenges.
Joseph Morris, National Coordinator of the Cassava sector, has welcomed his organization partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture through the project.
He said that the Ministry’s intention to work with the private sector is the way forward to solving the food problem.
“We would like to appreciate the Minister of Agriculture for the stance to assist members of the sector. We are overwhelmed by not just the materials provided to the organization, but the planned financial assistance to farmers and processors,” Morris said.
Morris said that through the project, many farmers will be receiving cassava planting materials for the current farming season.
According to the National Coordinator, they have established coordinators at the level of the fifteen counties to coordinate the affairs of the members.
He promised his organization’s commitment to work with the Ministry in making sure that the government can meet its goal for the production of cassava for the country.