As part of efforts to improve food and nutrition security and incomes of rural Liberians, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has signed a 3.5 million Euros integrated rice, fish project with AfricaRice and the Ministry of Agriculture that will build smallholder farmers’ capacities in Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Gbarpolu, Margibi, and River Gee counties.
According to the press release, the project, titled “Desira”, which focuses on rice-and fish integration, is sponsored by the European Union.
The signing ceremony was held recently in Monrovia, attended by Director General of the NaFAA, Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, AfricaRice Country Director Dr. Inoussa Akintayo and the Minister of Agriculture, Madam Jeanine M. Cooper.
According to NaFAA, the project will last for 3 years and its overall goal is to enhance the development of rice and fish value chains for improved food and nutrition and economic securities.
It shall build the capacity of the targeted beneficiaries in the areas of access to research and extension, innovations and technologies to enhance sustainability and productivity of their products.
Sixty percent of targeted farmers will be women inclusive householders/families to build on their roles as food producers to ensure the food and nutrition security of their families, the release added.
The project further aims at transforming high risk climatic traditional production system into more climatic resilient, high-yielding resource use efficient system.
It will draw on the initial lessons learned from the FAO, AfricaRice, WorldFish, and other research organizations; including initiatives on climatic-smart agriculture to design/modify and test technologies as well as practices that sustainably increase productivity and enhance adaptive development outcomes for rural local farmers.
Worldfish and AfricaRice, through this project, aim to adapt improved rice-fish systems technologies and better management practices in Liberia, together with the National Agriculture Research Extension Systems (NARES), the private sector and other donor funded projects.