Liberia: MoA Boosts Farmers’ Capacity to Produce More

Bendu Benda, a woman farmer receives farming tools.


The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), through the World Bank Project Implementation Unit (PIU), has commenced the distribution of inputs to smallholder farmers in the cassava, oil palm, rice, rubber, vegetable, and livestock value chains.

According to the MOA, approximately  10,000 smallholder farmers in the targeted value chains within 13 of the 15 counties, are benefiting from the initiative.

The beneficiaries are receiving fertilizers, improved seed rice varieties, cassava cuttings, and vegetable seeds. Other items include wheelbarrows, hoes, shovels, cutlasses, pruning and tapping knives, approved chemicals for those involved with rubber planting, rain gear, and spraying cans, among other things. 

Livestock farmers are also receiving piglets, day old chicks (DOC), animal feed, and medicines.

The first phase of input distribution for beneficiaries under the activity targets the 10,000 farmers registered as beneficiaries under the Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP) and the Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P). 

Those beneficiaries are in possession of a valid national identification card that was processed under the MOA – National Identification Registry (NIR) arrangement. 

It can be recalled that the MOA and NIR, in September 2022 to register all the beneficiaries of both projects, legitimizing them for this form of support. The second phase targets about 20,000 farmers, making it a total of 30,000.

Counties that are covered under the current distribution, which began on May 11, 2023, include Bomi, Bong, Gbapolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh and Grand Kru. Others are Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba and Sinoe Counties, which are the project-specific counties. 

MOA’s Deputy Minister for Regional Development, Research, and Extension Dr George Forpoh called on the beneficiaries to make maximum use of the tools and other inputs so that they will increase their production. 

“This is the government’s way of encouraging you to grow more food that will feed the nation, and then we begin to export some for foreign markets,” Forkoh said. “We also want you to grow more cash crops so that you can make use of the markets that are being created for you to do business and get more money. We do not want you to always have small gardens. It is now time for us to turn our farms into instruments that will generate real income for us and our children so that we can live better lives,” he said.

Minister Forpoh also cautioned against the sale of the items.

“These items are to be used by you and those working on your farms. They cannot be sold, as doing so may hinder others from receiving them on the next distribution. Also, when you get caught, you will never receive any other farming item from the government or any of the MOA partners,” he warned.

Bendu Benda, a woman farmer, described the distribution of inputs as a turning point in her farming career. “I am extremely happy because I did not have the money to buy these items.  I am receiving, even though we needed them to carry out our farming work. I got injured only because I could not afford the protective gears that will keep me safe. We did everything manually and with our bare hands, at huge risk, and barely got the desired results from the farm. But going forward, I now have what I need to stay safe while I work, and other things that will help me increase my productivity. I am grateful to the government, the ministry and all the partners that help to make this happen,” she said.  

This intervention is funded by the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and provides essential tools and planting materials that farmers usually struggle to get due to shortages or high costs associated with them.

The Star Project focuses on providing innovative agricultural financing through institutional capacity building and strengthening the enabling environment for farmers, agribusinesses, state, and non-state actors, as well as enhancing productivity and competitiveness, while the RETRAP seeks to develop or enhance competitiveness and market access through productive alliances, as well as strengthening agri-marketing and engaging in road infrastructure investments.

Both projects are being implemented in 13 of the 15 counties in Liberia, with a combined target of 98,000 beneficiaries, including producers, processors, transporters, and others in the cassava, oil palm, rice, rubber, piggery, poultry, and vegetable value chains.