Signing Ceremony of the RETRAP Financing Agreement
Minister Samuel D. Tweah (left) and WB Country Manager Khwima Nthara (right).

Major boost to agriculture sector as three new projects signed

(Monrovia, Ministerial Complex, June 22, 2021) The Government of Liberia (GOL), on Friday, signed three new financing with international financing partners – African Development Bank, International Fund for Agriculture Development and the World Bank – valued at US$ 72 million and to be executed over the next five years in 12 counties specifically in food crops value chains, infrastructural development through farm-to-market roads and climate resilience.

Statutorily, Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, signed on behalf of the GOL at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Agriculture where Agriculture Minister, Jeanine M. Cooper; Acting Public Works Minister, Ruth C. Collins and Environmental Protection Agency’s Executive Director, Wilson Tarpeh witnessed the ceremony.

Since last year, Agriculture Minister, Jeanine Cooper, through collaborative and coordinated efforts with the Ministry of Finance and Development and Environmental Protection Agency, accelerated discussions with the financing partners for the actualization of the new projects.

Minister Cooper lauded the ADB, IFAD and World Bank for being very supportive to Liberia through the new projects and other existing programs geared towards improving Liberia’s food security and rural transformation.

“I am so proud of these new projects. They are our hope for the future. They combined two things – rural agriculture and rural livelihoods on how we can help rural populations not just to benefit from agriculture, but also improve their livelihoods”, said Minister Jeanine Cooper.

Finance Minister Tweah happily indicated, “These agreements are celebration of partnership, coordination and support from our international partners. The pace at which we are going with transformation through these projects and many other programs, we will see significant changes in the coming years”.

Excitingly, Khwima Nthara, World Bank Country Manager in Liberia, declared: “The Programs whose Financing Agreements we are signing today will go a long way towards transforming the economy of Liberia, and in turn, the livelihoods of the Liberian people”.

The new projects include; Rural Economic Transformation Project (RETRAP) which the World Bank will finance with US$ 55 million funding from this year to 2026 that will be executed through the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in 11 counties.

RETRAP seeks to increase income of rural poor households through sustainable agricultural livelihood enhancements and improved rural access and agricultural marketing infrastructure services. As its primary focus, the project will support the value chains of cassava, Rubber, Poultry, Piggery and Vegetables.

 It will focus on improving access to markets through the rehabilitation of existing roads (Tappita-Zwedru), construction of short-span critical cross-drainage structures, and modernization of selected agri-markets.

 Another financing agreement of US$ 8.2 million was signed with the African Development Bank through funding from the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP) for Smallholder Agriculture Development for Food and Nutrition Security (SADFONS) that aims to increase agricultural productivity and production of smallholder farmers with a focus on food crops such as rice, cassava, and vegetables in six counties.

 Building Climate Resilience in Liberia's Cocoa and Rice Sectors in Liberia is the third project with US$ 8.84 million grant from the Adaptation Fund through IFAD that focuses on village-level interventions in climate resilient and sustainable agriculture in order to reduce the negative impacts from climate change and climate variability and foster the resilience of cocoa and rice production and post-harvest.