Grand Bassa County – The Country Director of BRAC Liberia, Rosy Choudhury has disclosed that BRAC is supporting over 200 poultry farmers to develop their commercial poultry farms into sustainable ventures that will not only provide them income and employment, but will contribute to nutrition and food security needs of the country.
Madam Choudhury made the comments over the weekend when the Minister of Agriculture Madam Jeanine Milly Cooper led a team from the Agriculture Ministry along with the Indian Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency, Pradip Kumar Yadav and his wife Madam Archana Yadav at BRAC’s Poultry Hatchery and Feed Mill in Grand Bassa County.
The objective of the visit was to observe different interventions through their Poultry Farm (Social Enterprise) and to determine the opportunities for collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and BRAC Liberia.
BRAC’s Poultry Hatchery is the first post-war breeder farm in the country for the production and supply of day-old chicks (DOC) and poultry layer feeds.
It was established in 2013. The production capacity of the poultry hatchery is 125,000 DOC/year and feeds 672 MT per year.
The layer breed is known as ISA Brown, a brown and white feathered variety from the Netherlands. BRAC layer DOCs are of high quality, have comparatively low mortality rate and high level of egg production.
Besides, the quality of DOCs, feed is equally important for making a profitable layer farm business. BRAC produces good quality layer feeds (starter, grower and layer) to meet the demand of the farmers.
The model for poultry support program has proven to be successful and contributing to improved nutrition and income of targeted households in Liberia.
“We are currently supporting over 7,500 smallholder farmers across the country in vegetable, cassava, corn, livestock, and poultry production. The commercial farmers are 150 and we are giving them technical support to manage their farms,” Madam Choudhury said.
BRAC Country Director added: “We are in twelve counties with thirty-eight offices and supporting local farmers to increase their production and do farming as a business. We are giving them seeds. We are also working to support corn production in Lofa and other counties.
Madam Choudhury also disclosed that BRAC’s new project will be supporting about 200,000 adolescent girls, youths, and women over the next five years through life skills teaching and economic empowerment.
BRAC Country Director continues: “20,000 youth, 80 percent women can be developed and given jobs.”
Also speaking, the Indian Ambassador, Pradip Kumar Yadav praised the work of BRAC, adding that it is aimed to improve the livelihood condition of Liberians.
“In a country like Liberia, it is very important that BRAC is providing training and making people stand on their feet, ” Ambassador Yadav said.
He added: “Most people like giving but it is always to make people stand on their own. With these projects, we hope that something will come out soon.”
Adding up, the Minister of Agriculture Jeanine Milly Cooper thanked BRAC for their work done around the country.
According to the Agriculture Minister, she followed the activities of BRAC before becoming Minister, something she says has been very impressive.
She noted: “I am glad that you came to Liberia and identified some of the challenges. You’re a social enterprise but I like the commercial part of it.”
“There are things we can learn from you and we also want you to be part of our rural finance. We are looking at ways where we can do more together.”
The Minister assured BRAC of her entity’s support to enable farmers to receive training across the country.
“We are going to provide support to smallholder farmers. We have seen the problem you are talking about. BRAC can be our key partner to show us the technical model so we can build on it,” she said.
For his part, Mr. Khaled Morshed, the CEO of BRAC Liberia Microfinance said BRAC will soon cover the entire country to improve the wellbeing of Liberians through the provision of access to finance. “Gradually we are moving to far too many counties. And that 97 percent of our clients are women. Our target is to develop our clients. We plan to cover all parts of Liberia, he said.