Agriculture and Food Security

The Agriculture programme is the largest sector of the Liberian economy, making up over half of all economic activities and is the most important source of income for women. BRAC’s agriculture programme launched in 2008 with support from multi donors ( Humanity United, FOSI, Omidyar Network ), which covers 20 branches across six counties which are Margibi, Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Montserrado and Grand Bassa. BRAC’s agriculture programme addresses the sector problem of poor crop productivity in Liberia. Our aim is to improve the efficiency and management of small to medium farm enterprises. The programme is designed to increase agricultural output, raise farm income and increase rural employment.

BRAC engages and empowers mostly female agriculture farmers by increasing crop production and profitability of agricultural ventures. The agriculture programme operates through community agriculture promoters (CAPs) who have prior farming experience.  They are selected directly from our microfinance groups and non-group members. These promoters receives a package consisting of intensive training on crop production practices, microfinance loans and supplies which they utilise to inform and assist other farmers, enabling them to substantially improve crop harvests. These promoters benefit from increased yields on their individual farms as well as gain from an additional income of selling services and inputs, such as high quality seeds, to their farming neighbours.

In 2010, BRAC began its seed testing and multiplication farm in Kingsville, producing high quality rice and maize seeds to help improve agriculture yields in Liberia. BRAC in cooperation with Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) is testing high beta-carotene content precursor of vitamin A- enriched cassava which has been demonstrated to the local community after multiplication. Yellow cassava can be harvested earlier than local cassava and has potential to add value to the existing value chain for improving food security, nutrition and income of small holder farmers. Iron toxicity in soil has been known as a major problem for rice production in swampy lands in Liberia due to which BRAC has been conducting a variety screening which will provide them with the best suited iron toxicity tolerant rice variety in collaboration with AfricaRice and CARI.

BRAC has been executing the Global Poverty Action fund (GPAF) project supported by DFID since 2012 to reduce hunger in rural areas of Liberia through Agriculture and livestock activities. The target beneficiaries of this project are poor, rural, landless women and their families; especially focusing on those who have been affected by war, widowed, HIV/AIDS infected women and those women who are looking after orphaned children. Under the GPAF agriculture programme, BRAC has trained and developed CAPs who are currently acting as extension agents. These CAPs are involved in delivering, multiplication and distribution of seeds, fertilisers and agro tools while providing technical support to general farmers in their community. Poor rural women have been trained on kitchen gardening and are supported with seeds, fertilizers and tools as per target. They are playing an important role in disseminating modern technology to other farmers through demonstration farms in the community. The project has also created a village nutrition committee which includes nutrition campaigns organised quarterly for each branch.

Current projects

Duration

Donors/ Partners

Objectives

GPAF Project (reducing hunger in the rural areas of Liberia)

 

April 2012 to March 2015

DFID

Train and equip poor landless women in food insecure rural areas of Liberia to establish kitchen gardens and small scale poultry farms in their homesteads and increase their families’ food intake and improve their children’s nutritional status and general health

Seed testing and   multiplication farm

March 2010 onwards

Multi donor and   BRAC

Produce high quality rice and maize seeds to help improve agriculture yields in Liberia.

 

 

 

 



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