The Department of Planning and Development is responsible for providing policy advice on agricultural economic issues and engaging in strategic planning and sector coordination in order to promote and stimulate the development of agriculture. Its principal functions include providing guidance for planning and allied functions for the establishment and maintenance of proper direction for development purposes; developing priority programs for the enhancement of agriculture; and monitoring and evaluating the performance of agricultural programs as well as providing agriculture statistics for policy planning and government guard to sector growth and economic planning.
The Department also coordinates the activities of various divisions in ministry and other stakeholder institutions engaged in agricultural programs; ensures that institutional support requirement are adequately considered in the planning process and develops information on the various support institutions.
As part of its planning functions, the Department assesses the alternative means of providing institutional support, monitors the performance of the institutional support system and develops policy recommendations relative to institutional and infrastructural support systems. Importantly, the Department ensures that all assistance from external sources is consistent with the development programs of the Ministry of Agriculture and is utilized for Maximum contribution to the development of the sector and the country.
The Department is headed by a Deputy Minister and an Assistant minister. The various divisions are headed by Directors.
The Department has four main units.
Agricultural Sector Coordination
The Division of Coordination is the catalyst between the Ministry of Agriculture and development partners operating in the agricultural sector. It coordinates agricultural development activities to insure that they are aligned to national development objectives.
Coordination is done through the Agriculture Coordination Committee (ACC), a public-private body which meets monthly and provides the Ministry of Agriculture with advice for policy formulation to propel the sector to growth and development.
The ACC is structured into key subsector technical working groups. Membership in each subsector working group is based on the technical knowledge of the sector. All working groups do in-depth studies and develop strategies based on good agriculture practices to increase productivity and improve the quality of agricultural commodities (especially export crops), thus enabling Liberia to compete on regional and international markets for fair prices.
Programme Management Unit(PMU)
The Department of Planning and Development also oversees the Program Management Unit (PMU) which was set up in the Ministry of Agriculture in 2010 as part of its on-going reform initiative to ensure effective and efficient management, implementation and coordinator of donor-funded agriculture projects. The PMU oversees the implementation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of various donor-funded agriculture projects in the MOA within the framework of the Liberia Agriculture Sector Investment Program (LASIP). The total cost of committed funds for eight (8) in the PMU as at December 31, 2012was about US$149.3 million spread over eight major projects during the next five years.
This unit manages and coordinates the various projects: