Africa-Press – Liberia. A recipient of UNDP’s agricultural grants has launched commercial seed rice, which is expected to increase local rice production and reduce reliance on rice imports.
The Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) applied and received a grant of US$25, 000 dollars to produce climate smart agriculture seed rice in Montserrado and Lofa counties using a technology known as System of Rice Intensification (SRI).
Could we say something about the process in getting to this point? How long has it taken, etc., etc.,
CHAP is one of eight organizations awarded with grants to develop innovative, sustainable and viable agricultural schemes that can boost agricultural production. UNDP, in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), provided the grants and stewardship for the initiative.
The organizations were to use the grants to supply agricultural inputs including seeds/seedlings at reduced cost to farmers in seven counties – Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Lofa, Nimba, and Grand Gedeh to promote local food production.
On Tuesday 2 February 2022, CHAP launched the commercial seed rice following a successful harvest in Montserrado County. The seed rice, going by the (brand name), can now be readily found where?
“Quote from CHAP on what this means to them and the country”
Speaking at the launch, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Programme Violet Baffour stressed the need to scale up support to small farmers and cooperatives as part of efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, and end hunger and malnutrition in Liberia.
“Making quality farm inputs available can play a major role in spurring development, reducing food self-sufficiency and poverty, by providing work to the unemployed men, women and youth of the country,” said Baffour.
She said the country should invest in research and extension systems in order to drive agricultural transformation and ensure that households have access to good agriculture inputs that can produce enough, high quality nutritious food.
“We must empower local farmers to use climate-smart agricultural practices like the rice intensification technology that has been used to produce this batch of seed rice in order to safeguard farmer investments from climate change,” the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative noted.
The agriculture sector in Liberia is largely undeveloped and with low yields due to several factors including limited access to affordable inputs and implements.
UNDP’s Livelihood and Employment Project, is a five-year initiative that seeks to engage poor and vulnerable people in socioeconomic activities that generate income and improve their livelihoods. It targets women, youth and persons living with disabilities who are often at the worst end of the economic ladder.