A one day Agri-business Investment Network (AIN) meeting has ended in Monrovia with participants pledging their commitments to engage government to formulate policies that will improve agri-businesses.
The meeting, which brought together more than 40 representatives of agri-businesses, was held on Tuesday, January 31, at the University of Liberia campus on Capitol Hill.
The AIN is managed by the Business Start-Up Center of Monrovia (BSC), with support from the Liberia Agri-business Development Activity (LADA). LADA is a Feed the Future Food Security Initiative of the U.S. Government for Liberia and is implemented in Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Montserrado counties.
It can be recalled that in November 2016, LADA launched the AIN with the goal to strengthen agricultural markets through the development of policies to increase agri-business investments.
The AIN brings together stakeholders, policies makers, and farmers to support farm producers, processors and buyers so as to increase agricultural investment, and ensure sustainability of the country’s agricultural sector.
The head of AIN, William Dennis, told the participants that there is a need for agri-businesses to unite and work with the government in ensuring the development of policies that will improve agri-businesses to enhance food security.
“This organization was established to help create the enabling environment that will improve the market climate for farming businesses. It shall connect producers to national and international markets opportunities and also engage the government and other partners to discuss opportunities for investment in the agriculture sector,” he explained.
Mr. Dennis used the occasion to encourage agri-businesses to become registered as a way to legalize their businesses to attract additional support.
On behalf of LADA’s Chief of Party, Daniel Gies, the Chief of Staff and Component Three Lead, Zaza Mulbah, explained how his institution has partnered with the BSC to ensure that the capacities of agri-businesses are built to sustain food security.
He said that LADA is in Liberia for five years to support farmers to increase production and raise income from rice, cassava, vegetables, cocoa and aquaculture.
According to him, these value chains (rice, cocoa, cassava vegetables and aquaculture) were identified to support based on the Liberian government’s intention to shift its priority from extractive resources to agriculture to transform the country.
“It is our hope that working with the MOA for the next few years will help improve the country’s economy. This is why the AIN was established to bring together agri-businesses to develop needed policies that will improve food production,” Mr. Mulbah said.