About 10,000 cocoa smallholder producers in Liberia will benefit from a new US$47.6 million project that aims to improve their food and nutrition security and raise their incomes by modernising cocoa farming, increasing production and developing markets.
The financing agreement for the Tree Crops Extension Project II (TCEP II) was signed by correspondence by the President of IFAD, Gilbert Houngbo and the Minister of Finance and Development Planning of the Republic of Liberia, Samuel Tweah.
Project financing includes a $11.9 million loan and $11.9 million grant from IFAD. The project would be co-financed by the private sector ($3.4 million), the Government of Liberia ($2.5 million) and the beneficiaries themselves ($1.8 million).
IFAD is working to fill the financing gap of $16.2 million with climate financing and additional co-financing for rural roads in the project area.
“TCEPII will focus on enabling poor rural women and men to overcome poverty,” the Director of IFAD’s West and Central Africa Division, Lisandro Martin said.
“It will promote economic empowerment that provides rural women with equal opportunities to participate in – and benefit from – profitable economic activities in the cocoa value chain.”
Agriculture is the primary livelihood source for more than 60 per cent of Liberia’s population. Traditionally, tree crops including cocoa, rubber and timber have been one of the country’s largest sources of employment, as well as an integral part of its social fabric. But during the country’s civil wars, the tree crop sector was devastated and many farmers were displaced.