The government of Liberia and the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have signed an agreement for a project to enhance animal feed production through corn production in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
Corn, also known as maize, is the grain used in poultry diets because it has good energy content and easy to digest. However, corn feeds are mostly procured from neighbouring Guinea and Cote d’lvoire at a high cost.
The project will be implemented by the government through the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Agriculture and the FAO, according to an Internal Affairs Ministry statement issued in Monrovia.
The Internal Affairs Minister, Varney A. Sirleaf, and acting Agriculture Minister, Ernest J. Clarke, signed for the Liberian Government, while Mariatou Njie, FAO Country Representative, signed for the organization on Thursday, 19 September 2019.
According to the statement, the project seeks to address and ensure increased and sustainable production of maize to support the production of livestock and poultry feed at affordable cost.
It is envisaged that when corn production is increased, local feed producers will have reliable and stable supply of corn for feed production.
It added that the project will also increase the profit margin of both feed producers and poultry farmers.
The project valued at 436 000 dollars is expected to be implemented over a two-year period running from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2021.
As the poultry production will be carried out, a complete market analysis will be conducted as a mechanism to link or connect maize producers to the animal feed processor units.
According to the project document, the Communal Farming Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO to ensure successful implementation of the project.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Internal Affairs Ministry will ensure that the designated parcel of land for cultivation in each locality is owned and given by the communities.
It was agreed that there will be construction of processing facilitieswith storage and drying slides, milling machines with accessories and fertilizers, as well as training of the beneficiaries.
Through the FAO Technical Cooperation Program (TCP), equipment, materials and supplies will be provided to enhance the realization of the project.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Internal Affairs Minister Sirleaf commended the FAO Country Representative and her team for the bold step, which he described as the beginning of support to the Communal Farming programme that he has been pushing in the counties.
He assured the success of the project and lauded the authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture for the hard work, which has resulted to the signing of the agreement.
On 23 January 2019, the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Agriculture signed technical cooperation accord aimed at revitalizing the communal farming system for increased food production and job
creation for hunger and poverty alleviation.