The COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on agriculture, food security, and livelihood of Liberians.
To mitigate the effect of the virus, particularly on the lives of smallholder farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture through its Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR–P) project has begun implementing its emergency response plans to smallholder farmers.
The Plan known as The Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) is part of the government’s mitigation mechanism to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on local communities especially farmers, which might have occurred as a result of the measures instituted to fight the Virus.
Currently, more than Twenty-Three Thousand (23,000) Oil Palm Seedlings have been distributed to farmers and farming groups in five counties; Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Bomi, and Grand Cape Mount.
Twenty-one (21) Smallholder Farmers and Farming Groups in Bong County cultivating approximately 105 acres were supplied 6,300 oil palm seedlings. In Nimba County, Twenty-Nine (29) Smallholder Farmers and farming groups received 7,920 Oil Palm Seedlings to be transplanted on an estimated 132 acres. In Lofa County, Six (6) Farmers received 1,500 which was transplanted on 25 acres while Seven (7) farmers in Grand Cape Mount were supplied 2,015 oil palm seedlings and in Bomi, 5 farmers received 3,500 oil palm seedlings covering 58 acres. Beneficiaries included both men and women.
The staff in the field headed by STAR-P Agronomist, Theophilus Baah, is providing support to the farmers in land preparation, layout, and transplanting of the seedlings.
As part of the intervention, young people from the communities were recruited and paid to support the seedling distribution and transplanting processes.