(L-R) WFP’s Representative to Liberia, Dr. Aliou Diongue and Minister of Agriculture, Liberia, Dr. J Alexander Nuetah,(PhD)
(L-R) WFP’s Representative to Liberia, Dr. Aliou Diongue and Minister of Agriculture,Liberia Dr. J Alexander Nuetah,(PhD)

Agriculture Ministry and World Food Program Collaborate to Boost Food Security through Liberia’s School Feeding Program

[Monrovia, Liberia, July 4, 2024] – The Ministry of Agriculture, through its Smallholder Agriculture Development for Food and Nutrition Security (SADFONS) Project, has signed a crucial memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the World Food Program (WFP). This MOU is an important tool for expanding the school feeding initiative in rural Liberia. The collaboration of the two institutions highlights their unwavering commitment to contributing to improving food and nutrition security while alleviating poverty among rural communities in Liberia.
Began in 2021, the MOA’s SADFONS project is a five-year initiative that has three components that include: (i) supporting smallholder agricultural productivity and market access, (ii) improving smallholders’ value addition, market access, and income, and (iii) strengthening the capacity of the government institutions, farmers and producers.
Recognizing the project’s successes and achievements since its inception, the government recently secured an additional US$10 million from the Global Agriculture Food and Security Program (GAFSP) of the World Bank Group as approved by the African Development Bank on 5 June 2024. US$1.5 million of this additional funding has been allocated specifically to the Home-Grown School Feeding program. This program aims to boost local agricultural production and improve the nutrition of 15,000 primary school children in Bong, Maryland, Montserrado, and Grand Bassa counties. It will provide a market for rural farmers to outsource their produce, stimulating local economies and promoting food security.
Agriculture Minister Dr. J Alexander Nuetah expressed his gratitude to all the partners for their steadfast support towards the Home-Grown School Feeding program. He highlighted the significant role of the program, particularly its positive impact on education and agriculture. “For education – it aids retention and motivates our children to attend school. For agriculture - it encourages smallholder farmers in the communities to produce, as the Home-Grown School Feeding program has become the greatest market for production in rural communities,” he stated, emphasizing the tangible benefits for school children and smallholder farmers. 
Moreover, Dr Nuetah stressed the need to eat other foods besides the country’s staple food, rice, as done in the Home-Grown Food program. “If we can support diversity in our diet, Liberia can become easily self-sufficient in food because we grow other things here. But the only reason we are food insecure is that we don’t have enough rice,” he explained.
For his part, WFP’s Representative to Liberia, Dr. Aliou Diongue, reiterated WFP’s unwavering dedication to effectively implementing the project. “We are committed to maximizing the impact of the funds to achieve sustainable outcomes in food security and nutrition, fulfilling all the indicators. WFP will responsibly manage this funding, ensuring transparency and accountability,” he assured, stressing the WFP's commitment to the project's successful implementation.
About 100 public and community schools in these targeted counties will benefit from daily on-site feeding programs with nutritious meals prepared from locally sourced produce, ensuring the children's health and well-being. Also, under this project, smallholder farmers, about 60 percent of whom are women in these counties, will receive improved agriculture inputs, including tools and equipment for land development and post-harvest management, in addition to hands-on training in the production, handling, and marketing of their produce, such as rice, beans, palm oil, and other vegetables.