Authorities of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) and the International Trade Center (ITC), in collaboration with The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mission to Liberia will today, October 10, host a one-day stakeholders conference on the development of Cocoa Value Chain for the Mano River countries.
According to an MoCI statement issued yesterday, October 9, the Cocoa Value Chain is supported by the Netherlands Center for the Promotion of Imports (CPI) from developing countries and implemented by the ITC.
Acting Commerce Minister A.E. Nyema Wisner said the initiative and support from ITC and CPI serves as a unique platform for experience and knowledge sharing that will enhance the human and institutional capacities of actors in both the public and private sectors.
Wisner said the government has identified agriculture as Liberia’s competitive advantage and, therefore, is optimistic that such intervention will help to build the productive capacity of cocoa farmers and add value as well as help them to understand the dynamics of the international market.
He said that the project will support the core objectives of the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for prosperity and development.
“The Administration seeks to support all initiatives with the objective to make Liberian farmers pro-active in the economy, thereby creating job opportunities and ultimately reducing poverty,” Mr. Wisner said.
The conference is in continuation of its consultative meeting on the development of Cocoa Value Chain, held from February, 14-15, 2018, in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
According to the statement, a team from ITC and The Netherlands also held consultative meetings with different stakeholders working in the Cocoa industry in Liberia, which included producers, exporters, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), development partners and projects in support of the public and private sectors.
At a meeting earlier with authorities of the ministry, the head of the ITC delegation pledged the organization’s commitment in developing Cocoa Value Chain in the country.
The objective of the workshop is to gather policymakers and private sector’s stakeholders input on the current needs and opportunities for Liberia Cocoa Sector.
Today’s conference is expected to bring specialists to the Cocoa Market and ITC Group, to share up-to-date information on the international market dynamics of Liberia.