A project to enhance animal feed production through corn production in Liberia has been signed in Monrovia. The signing ceremony took place on Thursday, September 19, 2019. The project will be implemented by Government through the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Agriculture and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Internal Affairs Minister Honorable Varney A. Sirleaf and Acting Agriculture Minister Honorable Ernest J. Clarke signed for Government, while Madam Mariatou Njie, FAO’s Country Representative signed for her organization.
Corn, also known as maize is the grain used in poultry diets because it has good energy content and it is easy to digest. But, the procurement of corn feeds is mostly done from neighboring Guinea and Cote d’lvoire at a high cost.
According to a release from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the project seeks to address and ensure increased and sustainable production of maize to support the production of livestock and poultry feed at an affordable cost. It is envisaged that when corn production is increased, local feed producers will have reliable and stable supply of corn for feed production.
The release said the project will also increase the profit margin of both feed producers and poultry farmers.
The project document quotes an FAO data of 2013 as saying many local poultry farmers in Liberia to have challenges in poultry production due to high production cost derived from feed purchase.
The project valued at four hundred thirty-six thousand United States Dollars (USD436,000) is expected to be implemented over a two-year period( September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2021). As the poultry production will be carried out, a complete market analysis will be conducted as a mechanism to link or connect maize producers to animal feed processors units.
According to the project document, the corn production project is also expected to become a model for the restoration of communal farming in counties and districts. The communal farming Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO to ensure successful implementation of the project on the ground.
Under the terms of the agreement, Internal Affairs Ministry will ensure that the designated parcel of land for cultivation in each locality is owned and given by the communities. It was agreed that there will be construction of processing facilities with storage and drying slides, milling machines with accessories and fertilizers, as well as training of the beneficiaries.
Through FOA’s Technical Cooperation Program (TCP), equipment, materials and supplies will be provided to enhance the realization of the project.
Speaking at the signing ceremony Thursday, Internal Affairs Minister Honorable Varney A. Sirleaf commended FOA’s Country Representative and her team for the board step which he described as the beginning of support to the Communal Farming program that he (Minister Sirleaf) has been pushing in the counties. He assured the success of the project.
Minister Sirleaf lauded authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture for the hard work which has resulted to the signing of the agreement.
On January 23, 2019, the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Agriculture signed technical cooperation aimed at revitalizing Communal Farming system for increased food production and Job Creation for Hunger and Poverty alleviation.
Cooperation between MIA and MOA covers agricultural activities involving joint motivation and support for communities and people to engage in profitable communal farming development commercial agricultural enterprises, design of programs/projects, projects implementation, supervision, monitoring and evaluation, appraisal and impact assessments of programs and projects, reporting.