Smallholders Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project-STARP-P(WB & IFAD)

The Smallholder Agriculture Transformation and Agribusiness Revitalization Project (STAR-P) focuses on addressing critical market failures limiting the development of the rice, oil palm, and horticulture value chains. The project achieves its objectives of increasing agricultural productivity and promoting smallholder commercialization, by facilitating private sector investment in selected value chains and by fostering productive links between smallholder farmers and selected agribusiness firms through a business climate lens. Adaptation approaches and mitigation measures are applied for rice and oil palm production to enhance the climate resilience of production and minimize climate risks.

The project development objective for STAR-P is to increase agricultural productivity and commercialization of smallholder farmers for selected value chains in the various counties of Liberia.
The project design is based on three strategic pillars, which are prerequisites for efficient and competitive value chains: (i) Institutional development to address critical capacity and coordination gaps; (ii) enhancement of productivity, quality, and efficiency along the targeted value chains; and (iii) improvements in the enabling environment.

The value chains selected and being supported under the project are based on a sector scan that prioritized agribusiness subsectors on a range of development impact and investor potential criteria, including job and income opportunities. Experts analysis show that the three value chains selected for intervention (rice, oil palm, and horticulture) have the strongest potential for development impact, ease of implementation, and attractiveness for private sector investment.

The project was initially received IDA funds of $25M and later received IFAD funds of $23M (73% loan and 27% grant). Under the World Bank, the project end date is November 30, 2024. The project received additional financing of $28.71M under IFAD which will extend the project up to November 2029.

The project consists of three components: (i) Institutional capacity building and strengthening the enabling environment for farmers, state, and nonstate actors, (ii) enhancing productivity and competitiveness, and (iii) project management, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), citizens engagement, and contingency emergency response.

Initially the scope of the Project covered five counties but extended and includes all 15 counties in Liberia. The direct beneficiaries of the project are 38,000 smallholder farmers, of which at least 30 percent targets women farmers. To benefit from the project services, farmers will be active, resident smallholder farmers in the project locality who are already engaged in producing one of the target crops, and they will be a member of an FBO (or willing to become a member). These farmers would benefit from increased income accruing from productivity increases and improved access to markets for the sale of their products. Production and market access support is provided to producers of rice, palm oil, and horticulture result in productivity gains to all players along these value chains.

The project benefits farmers within all counties in Liberia. Other beneficiaries include aggregators, offtakers, processors, agri-marketing businesses, agribusinesses and business development services enterprises that have good business links to smallholder farmers in the targeted value chains. Indirect beneficiaries include government staff in targeted ministries, agencies, and commissions, and private sector and other nonstate institutions.

The following key performance indicators are used to measure project outcomes: 
(a) Increase in yield per targeted Value Chain, disaggregated by gender (Percentage).  
(b) Volume of annual sales (Metric tons) for the target commodities produced by the beneficiary farmers’ groups, disaggregated by gender. 
(c) Number of direct project beneficiaries (Number), disaggregated by gender (Percentage).

The project is being managed by the Ministry of Agriculture under the Project Implementation Unit.

For additional information, please contact:

Elvis Sirleaf, Communications Lead, PIU, MoA