Liberia: LFSP Boosts Cocoa Farming in Grand Gedeh, River Gee Counties
MONROVIA — The Liberian Forest Sector Project (LFSP), with support from the Government of Norway through the World Bank has boosted the hopes of about 2,000 cocoa farmers in South Eastern Liberia especially Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties by procuring 150,000 f1 hybrid cocoa seeds/beans from the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana which arrived in the country Thursday, February 11, 2021.
A joint team comprising technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) attended the arrival ceremony of the consignment at the Roberts International Airport for inspection and acceptance before being officially turned over to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr. Alaric N. Meinwipia, Assistant Director of Crop Science, Department of Regional Research & Extension, MoA took delivery of the consignment on behalf of the ministry. He gratefully acknowledged the timely intervention of the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP) through which the seeds were procured. He noted that the arrival of the cocoa seeds/beans will certainly raise the hopes of the farmers and elevate their enthusiasm once again. He asserted that the seeds will have to be nursed in counties with the utmost promptness to ensure their maturity for distribution to farmers which is scheduled to begin in May 2021 before the commencement of the next rainy season.
He said technicians at his ministry assigned in the South East Liberia are in readiness to provide the necessary technical advice to the farmers consistent with the appropriate steps required to expedite the speedy growth and development of these hybrid cocoa seeds. These cocoas are expected to begin bearing fruits in two years.
The FDA houses the REDD+ Implementation Unit which coordinates and manages the LFSP activities with six Government Entities namely, Forestry Development Authority, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, Liberia Land Authority, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services and associated sub sectors. Promoting sustainable agriculture is one of the flagship interventions of the LFSP as a part of Liberia’s strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).