Government of Liberia Holds Three-Day Stakeholder Forum to Strengthen Agricultural Value Chains
Kakata, Margibi County - July 15, 2023 - The Government of Liberia, through the Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR Project) of the Ministry of Agriculture, has successfully completed a three-day forum aimed at enhancing the oil palm, rice, and vegetable value chains in Liberia. The forums, which commenced on Thursday, 13 August 2023, and ended Saturday, 15 August 2023, were held in Kakata City, Margibi County, and brought together a diverse range of stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
The primary objective of the forums, as outlined by Stephen Marvie, Operations Manager of the STAR Project, is to strengthen market linkages within the value chains and provide participants with valuable insights into the operational processes of the Liberia Agriculture Commercialization Funds (LACF). The LACF, responsible for managing the matching grant component of the STAR Project, plays a crucial role in the enhancement and development of these value chains. By organizing these forums, the Government of Liberia aims to create an enabling environment that fosters productivity, competition, and market access through alliances.
The STAR Project, an initiative funded by the World Bank and the International Funds for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with a funding value of 48 million United States Dollars, addresses critical market failures that have hindered the growth of three vital agricultural sectors in Liberia: rice, oil palm, and horticulture. The forums, which are captured under component two of the STAR Project, serve as strategic platforms for exchanging knowledge and experiences, thereby facilitating effective collaborations that will drive sustainable growth within the agricultural sector.
Throughout the three-day event, participants were engaged in panel discussions and break-out sessions, each designed to explore essential topics and exchange valuable insights. The panel discussions covered a wide range of subjects, including Farming as a Business, Extension Services, Business Plan Development Challenges and Opportunities, Climate-Smart Agriculture, and LACF Matching Grant and Business Compliance. These discussions were led by esteemed experts from the fields of business and agriculture, ensuring a comprehensive and insightful exploration of the subject matter.
Additionally, the break-out sessions provided participants with an opportunity to share success stories related to the STAR Project interventions, fostering a sense of collaboration and shared learning. The inclusion of both state and non-state actors in the forums underscores the commitment of the Government of Liberia to engage all relevant stakeholders in the country's agricultural development. With the participation of project beneficiaries from ten counties across Liberia, the forums created a platform for diverse perspectives and experiences to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the agricultural sector.
The Government of Liberia expresses its gratitude to the World Bank and IFAD for their support towards the organization of the forums. By harnessing the knowledge, expertise, and experiences of stakeholders, the Government aims to foster innovation, productivity, and sustainable development within the oil palm, rice, and vegetable value chains. The forums represent a significant step forward in the Government's efforts to transform Liberia's agricultural sector and promote economic growth.