US$60,000 Grant Earmarked for Agro-entrepreneurs

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The Liberia Agri-business Development Activity (LADA) has provided a separate grant of US$60,000 to a local agro-dealer and a processor to strengthen their agricultural businesses.

The two entrepreneurs are Joan Williams of the Joan Agriculture Business Center and Wedour David of the Bravo Sisters Enterprise.

The agro-entrepreneurs signed the grant agreement with LADA on March 27 in Monrovia under a 50 percent cost share arrangement.

Joan is an agro-dealer whose business is located at the Red Light General Market, outside Monrovia. She received the amount of US$10,000 from LADA to expand on her business to meet the agro-inputs needs of smallholder farmers, particular in Montserrado County. As for Wedour David, who specializes in food processing, he received US$50,000 to improve processing, thereby enhancing the market opportunities of farmers.

LADA’s Chief of Party, Daniel Gies, stated during the signing ceremony that the grant was part of his entity’s US$3 million company investment fund that aims to build the capacities of agro-dealers and other agro-entrepreneurs.

“We are very gratified that with the support of the people and Government of America, Liberian agro-entrepreneurs can obtain the opportunity to access money to expand their businesses,” he said.

He added that LADA intends to facilitate the environment where agro-inputs can become more accessible and of quality for smallholder farmers by building the capacities of the private sector to improve the incomes of smallholder farmers as a way of sustaining Liberia’s food security.

“Our project is working with agro-inputs dealers and other value chain actors to meet its goals to improve the income of smallholder farmers to sustain food production. We cannot achieve this objective without strengthening your capacities,” he told the grant beneficiaries.

According to Mr. Gies, in the next four years, LADA expects to empower at least 300 agro-inputs dealers and processors so that they can create sustainable income opportunities for local farmers.

The head for Component One at the LADA project, Ambrose Forpoh, stated that beneficiaries were selected based on their potential and interest to provide necessary services to farmers in the project’s targeted counties.

“We are involved in providing training to several agro-dealers in the country to reach local farmers with quality and affordable services to improve the lives of smallholder farmers,” he stated.

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