African Development Fund approves $10 million from GAFSP trust fund to scale up nutrition project

(MENAFN-EIN Presswire) The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund has approved an additional $10 million from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to implement activities and increase impact of the development of smallholder agriculture for food and nutritional security. project in Liberia.

The project aims to improve food and nutrition security and reduce poverty among targeted rural populations in Liberia by increasing agricultural production and smallholder productivity (with emphasis on food crops such as rice, cassava and vegetables), improving smallholder value addition, access to markets and income and strengthening the capacities of government institutions, farmers and producer organizations.

Liberia has been hit by rising prices of imported agricultural inputs. Rising energy costs and the ongoing consequences of multiple shocks have also destabilized the fertilizer sector. Rising fertilizer prices lead to higher food prices, forcing countries dependent on food imports, such as Liberia, to maximize their efforts to boost local food production to avoid the impact on food and nutrition security .

The first financing for the project was approved in June 2021. The initial results of the project are to increase the productivity of rice and cassava to 3.5 Mt/ha and 25 Mt/ha respectively.

The additional funding will target approximately 18,260 households in addition to the existing 11,740 households and 15,000 students for the locally produced school feeding activities program.

This project will also strengthen sustainable crop production and intensification by producing breeding seeds, foundation seeds and certified seeds for farmers cultivating 7,000 ha of land; support value addition and connect farmers and processors to markets through the establishment of six post-harvest facilities for primary processing of cassava and rice with the help of four aggregation centers located near the processing centers.

Other expected outcomes of the project include strengthening participatory advisory services to farmers, supporting national food security, and strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture in investment planning and implementation.

The total project cost is estimated at $19.08 million, including $18.2 million from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), $429,027 from the African Development Fund and $453,000 from the Liberian government.

The proposed project is anchored on government priorities to improve food security and strengthen livelihoods, agricultural transformation and economic prosperity for all.

About the GAFSP

The Global Food and Agricultural Security Program (GAFSP) was established in response to the global food price crisis of 2008/09, following the G8 commitment in September 2009 in Pittsburgh to mobilize up to $20 billion for agricultural development and food security. The objective of the GAFSP Financial Intermediate Fund (grants) is to address the underfinancing of national and regional strategic investment plans for agriculture and food security already developed by countries, thereby contributing to the achievement of the objectives of sustainable development aimed at ending poverty and hunger by 2030.

Currently, the Bank has six (6) active projects worth $74.52 million at different stages of implementation (Central African Republic, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Tanzania, Senegal). Eight (8) projects are currently in preparation including for additional financing (Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Liberia, Senegal, Tanzania (x2) for a total value of $94.35 million. Projects in Ghana, in Senegal, Tanzania and Guinea Bissau have been recently approved and are expected to start operations very soon.

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