Rome, 22 December - A US$5 million grant to the Republic of Liberia from IFAD will allow 10,000 poor farming households, many headed by women, to better their incomes and their lives after the devastation caused by the country's 14-year civil war.
The grant agreement for the agriculture sector rehabilitation project was signed today in Rome by Mr Ibrahim K Nyei, Ministrer Plenipotentiary in Italy for the Republic of Liberia, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
The Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Project will focus on rebuilding rural economies and on community improvement, through an integrated response to rehabilitating and sustaining essential services.
Access to good quality inputs will help boost the production and the productivity of rice and cassava fields. The rearing and trading of goats and chickens will also be increased, generating more food for families and potential extra income.
The project's development goal is to reduce post-conflict poverty and food insecurity. It seeks to lift the average annual earnings from crop sales per target household from $130 to $1,016 at full project development in 2014. It will also create new jobs.
The legacy of Liberia's civil war is ruined infrastructure, especially in rural areas, displacement of people and a vastly reduced human and institutional capacity. An estimated 86 per cent of rural households live in poverty and 80 per cent are moderately or highly food insecure.
As attention now shifts from emergency recovery to Liberia's longer-term development needs, revitalizing agriculture will catalyze sustainable economic development, and increase food security, employment and incomes.
IFAD has funded two projects in Liberia for a total investment of more than US$ 14 million.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested over US$11 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries, empowering some 350 million people to break out of poverty. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome - the UN's food and agricultural hub. It is a unique partnership of 165 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).