CNFA-Liberia and Partners Support Commercialization of Local Rice

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Some rice processors from Montserrado, Bomi, Cape Mount and Grand Bassa counties with staff of CNFA-Liberia and partners at the end of the training in Buchanan.

Trained 32 Rice Processors in Business Skills

International NGO Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture-Liberia (CNFA-Liberia) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture are working to build the capacity of rice processors to commercialize locally produced rice in the country. Recently, CNFA-Liberia and its partners trained 32 rice processors chosen from Lofa, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Montserrado and Grand Cape Mount counties in business management skills. The trainings were conducted in Voinjama, Lofa County from July 17 – 19, 2017 and in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County from July 21 – 23, 2017.

The project is part of a US$2 million Ebola recovery support from the government of Japan to the people and government of Liberia under the Japanese Rice Grant (J-Rice) through IFAD that seeks to support rice processors to attain full scale commercial rice processing that guarantees reliable markets for smallholder rice farmers and increase their income earning capacities. CNFA-Liberia is to shortly embark on the construction of two large prefabricated warehouses to install two state of the art integrated rice mills in Voinjama and Foya districts in Lofa County.

During the workshop overview, Mr. Victor Ngorbu, Co-Investment Fund manager and Component Two Lead at CNFA-Liberia, stated that with the provision of the two integrated rice milling machines in Lofa, the processing capacities of the two rice milling enterprises will be upgraded to produce 20 metric tons (800 25kg bags) of high quality parboiled rice a day.

It can be recalled that in 2016, John Selma of the “Selma Agriculture Development Incorporated” and Mohammed Kamara of the “Agriculture Infrastructures Investment Corporation” signed a cost-share agreement with CNFA-Liberia to bring to Liberia two state of the art integrated rice processing mills for their operations. The two integrated rice milling machines are equipped with fully automated milling systems that have the capacity to properly pre-clean and de-stone paddy rice and parboil and dry paddy rice through heat exchangers; de-husk paddy and polish milled rice properly; sort the milled rice by color and length; and package the final product of high quality milled parboiled rice into 25Kg and 50Kg bags. Mr. Ngorbu added that an additional nine (9) smaller rice milling machines will also arrive in Liberia to be operated by existing rice hubs in Nimba, Bong and Montserrado counties. Liberia imports roughly 300,000 metric tons of rice, spending nearly US$200 million annually, to meet local demand for high quality milled rice.

The CNFA-Liberia Co-Investment Fund manager said that they hope to reduce rice imports by 30 percent in 2020, adding: “This is expected to increase the income of many smallholder farmers and improve food security.” He also disclosed during the workshop that under the project, smallholder farmer organizations and rice aggregators and processors will be linked to commercial banks and micro-finance institutions to access investment capital that would enable them to expand their enterprises.

Emmanuel Lincoln, project manager for CNFA/IFAD/J-Rice, cautioned the beneficiaries to make appropriate use of the skills acquired to increase food production and reduce poverty. He stated that the partners’ collaboration is expected to increase the income of farmers by expanding rice production and processing in the targeted counties.

Meanwhile, additional topics deliberated during the workshop include the importance of using right rice varieties for milling; gender mainstreaming and youth in agribusiness; entrepreneurship; sustainable agribusiness; and environmental best practices.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Good Idea! Very good Indeed. Government should also aggressively promote our high quality Liberian Rice. The problem for Liberia, have never been the shortage of rice. The problem is that most Liberians dislike their own home grown RICE. I remember back days in the 60s, in Monrovia; when they said NO RICE, they were referring to U.S PARBOILED RICE. Even when our locally produced Liberian Rice was available in abundance, there was still this cry about no rice, ie the U.S PARBOILED RICE. We ought to wean ourselves from such mentality. We can very well solve our rice problem, if we give top priority to our home grown RICE. Support our FARMERS. Buy your home grown RICE. REMEMBER: Our Liberian Rice, Good For Our Stomach; Better For Our Economy.

  2. This collaborative partnership in building the entrepreneurial skills of rice farmers and processors is surely a key success factor in getting the Liberian rice industry up, strong and running soon. At CNFA, we want posterity to judge us right “that we’re part of the change and proud of the success”. Thanks to CNFA/LADA,IFAD and MOA.

  3. Even though Liberians have their problems when it comes to choice but what will be more important to changing this choice is for agriculture authorizes (government and into.agric. NGOs)to consider making use of all the swamps in Lib.with out boundary to increase rice production to have excess on the market& reduce some importations

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