A five million Euro Cocoa Sector Improvement program has been officially launched in Bong County.
The program was launched by international agriculture Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Solidaridad, will be implemented in Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties.
The NGO program will work with Cocoa farmers in the three counties to improve cocoa farming.
Giving an overview of the LICSIP project over the weekend at Cuttington University main campus in Suakoko, Bong County, Solidarida Agribusiness Specialist, Eric Agyare, said the program will last for four years.
He said the NGO will assist farmers by the provision of improved cocoa varieties to add value to their production.
Mr. Agyare said the program also seeks to create a vibrant, competitive and profitable cocoa economy driven by farmer groups/ associations and private sector supply actors in a robust national regulatory and institutional framework.
Mr. Agyare added that though cocoa production provides about 12.6percent of the employment in the agriculture sector, the opportunities in the cocoa sector have been underutilized.
Delivering a special statement on behalf of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, The Chief of Office Staff in the office of the Vice President, George Nimely, praised the donor, European Union (EU), for its continuous support to Liberia’s development initiatives. Mr. Nimely urged cocoa farmers to make maximum use of the opportunities being accorded them.
Speaking at the launch of the program, Helene Cave, Ambassador of the European Union to Liberia said, the objective of the program is to put Liberia on the map again for the sustainable cocoa production.
The EU Envoy praised the Government led by President George Weah for its commitment to improving the cocoa sector. The Envoy said she wishes to see a good land right act in the country.
Ambassador Cave maintained that the Solidarida Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Program will lead to the intensification of cocoa production in a way that shows respect to environment.
Agriculture Minister, Dr. Moganna Flomo, who officially launched the program urged Solidarida to ensure the programme actually reaches the beneficiaries.
Minister Flomo maintained that gone are the days when donors provided funding for poor people but did not reach them. The program was attended by national and international guests as well as cocoa famers from the three counties.
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