Monrovia, October 13, 2020): Liberia’s Minister of Agriculture, Jeanine Milly Cooper, on Tuesday joined several world personalities and participated in the launch of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) Replenishment for 2020-25 hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Minister Cooper shared the fundraising with German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr Gerd Muller; Gilbert Houngbo, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Martien van Nieuwkoop, Global Director at the World Bank, Bill Gates among others.
A total of US$ 300 million was raised at Tuesday’s virtual event against the US$1.5 billion target to support agriculture in select countries for the next five years. Australia, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Germany, Norway and Spain contributed this first tranche.
Liberia will be getting GAFSP new funding tranche to support smallholders’ farmers.
“This new funding will allow GAFSP to continue its support for smallholder farmers, businesses, and countries to achieve food security by launching a new Call for Proposals in early 2021 to support COVID-19 response and recovery”, GAFSP said.
In making Liberia’s case, Minister Cooper indicated: “In Liberia, we have seen firsthand the positive impact that our partnership with GAFSP has had in addressing food and nutrition security. In the face of climate change and a global pandemic, we must continue to invest in our farmers to build stronger and more resilient communities.”
GAFSP is a leading global financing instrument dedicated to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in the world’s poorest countries. We work to strengthen agriculture and food systems to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and their families.
It was established in response to the 2007 -2008 food price crisis to address a clear need for increased investment in agriculture and food security.
GAFSP has been one of the major donors to Liberia’s agriculture sector.
It provided US$46.5 million constituting 85.32% of funding for Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercial (SAPEC) Project under the Ministry of Agriculture that was co-financed by the African Development Bank.
The project is now in its final year ---wraps up in June 2020 --- is based in 12 of Liberia’s 15 counties namely Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, River Gee, Rivercess and Sinoe.
“As of December 2019, the project has reached 145,754 people (43.7 percent women). SAPEC has met its target of using 500 hectares of developed lowland for vegetable production, achieved by 600 farmers across the project counties, including farmers’ base organizations; trained and built the capacities of about 2,800 farmers, NGOs, and project field officers on improved practices in rice, cassava, and vegetable production and on post-harvest/value addition techniques”,