Solidaridad Launches New Programme to Transform Liberia’s Cocoa Sector

03 April 2018

Cocoa is an important cash-crop in Liberia, but the sector remains largely underdeveloped. To address this, Solidaridad has launched a training programme with support from The European Union and in collaboration with the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture, to facilitate good cocoa production practices and transform the sector.

The Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme is a four year training programme with the explicit goal of revitalizing the Liberian cocoa sector. While the programme has only just launched, already a total of 43 community facilitators have been trained in cocoa integrated crop and pest management.

Creating A Vibrant, Competitive & Profitable Cocoa Economy

Solidaridad provides training to cocoa farmers through Community Farmer Field Schools. These schools are facilitated by trained community facilitators with guidance from Solidaridad agronomists. 

The programme is driven by farmer groups, associations and private sector players within a robust national regulatory and institutional framework. Training provides insights on good cocoa production practices for the proper transfer of knowledge to farmer field school communities across Bong, Nimba and Lofa counties.

Putting Liberia on the Global Cocoa Map

Alberto Menghini, Head of the Corporation of the EU Delegation said he was hopeful the project had the potential to put Liberia on the map as one of Africa’s largest cocoa producers.

“The benefits are numerous. The Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme will support farmers and address institutional policy challenges that will make the sector vibrant”.

MacArthur Pay-Bayee, Solidaridad Country Representative says the programme has real potential to enhance cocoa sustainability in Liberia. 

“When these farmers have knowledge about good practices, they will be able to improve their farm size. This will increase farm productivity, increasing output per farmer, and overall, improving farmers’ incomes and livelihoods.”

Promoting Farmers’ Access To Support Services

The core implementation strategy of the programme is to promote farmers’ access to a suite of production support services that lead to farm intensification, rehabilitation of moribund farms, new plantings on fallow lands and general extension services through the set up and operation of Centres for Cocoa Development.

Cocoa companies, farmer organizations and other supply chain actors will operate the Centres for Cocoa Development in the cocoa regions as small medium enterprises to provide sustained services.

A total of 200 cocoa farmer field schools will be organised during the lifetime of the programme to dispense training in good agricultural practices and agri-business skills.

Learn more about Solidaridad's cocoa programme here

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