Monrovia, October 8, 2020) The Government of Liberia (GOL) through the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) under its multi-donor funded the Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P), has started the distribution of 23, 000 oil palm seedlings to smallholder farming groups in five counties.
Sixty-eight farming groups in Bomi, Bong, Grand Cape Mount, Lofa and Nimba counties have, thus far, benefitted from the distribution which is part of the Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) under the STAR-P that the MOA spearheads under its COVID-19 mitigation response plan on smallholder farmers.
STAR-P, jointly funded by the Rome-based International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the World Bank, is a seven-year project under the MOA which kicked off in 2018 and ends in 2024.
The project aims to increase agricultural productivity and commercialization of smallholder farmers engaged in rice, vegetables and oil palm value chains in nine of Liberia’s fifteen counties namely Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland and Nimba.
It also seeks for agribusiness development and service enterprises that have links to smallholder farmers in rice, vegetable and oil palm value chains.
The gratis seedlings will enable farmers, with 30% women beneficiaries, expand cultivation in the oil palm sector.
Farmers are being assisted by STAR-P’s Agronomist, Theophilus Baah in land preparation, layout and transplanting of the seedlings.
The distribution is also providing short-term casual labor scheme for several young community dwellers in those beneficial counties who were selected to support the seedling distribution and transplanting processes.