MONROVIA – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has launched a five-year project called GROW-2, funded by the Embassy of Sweden.
By Francis G. Boayue
Providing an overview of the GROW-2 project on Tuesday at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Dr. Charles Sackey, GROW-2 Chief Technical Advisor, and Mr. Dans Kiamue Johnson, the national value chain expert on cassava, disclosed that the project aims to increase production through both expansion and diversification, local value addition, market access, and employment opportunities for farmers living in poverty within selected agro-based value chains.
According to Dr. Sackey and Dans Johnson, the program will focus on impoverished farmers, enhancing engagement with men, women, and youth. The program will also prioritize achieving and maintaining gender equality and empowering women. Youth economic empowerment and entrepreneurship will receive special attention.
The project will prioritize the cocoa, horticulture, and cassava value chains, specifically concentrating on interventions designed to enhance output, productivity, and value addition in response to market demand. The implementation strategy will be characterized by the market system development approach, which emphasizes the importance of flexibility in adapting interventions to the particular constraints and opportunities that may develop in different value chain sectors.
In addition to the project overview, Dr. Sackey mentioned: “The current project constitutes the successor phase of the Sida-funded Markets and value chains in agriculture called GROW Liberia, which was implemented from 2013-2022, hereafter referred to as GROW-1 and is named GROW-2.
Mr. Johan Romare, Deputy Head of Mission, Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, co-launched the program along with Mr. Fabio Russo, UNIDO, and Dr. Peter Clement – Representing the UN Resident Coordinator for Liberia; the three men jointly launched the project.
The Embassy of Sweden Deputy Head of Mission, Development Cooperation, Mr. Johan Romare, stated that the program aligns with Liberia’s strategic development priorities and Sweden’s cooperation strategy with Liberia.
Mr. Marcus Teto, representing Liberia’s Agriculture Minister Jeanine Cooper, officially launched the UNIDO 5-Year Grow 2 Project funded by the Embassy of Sweden.
Mr. Teto expressed appreciation on behalf of Ms. Cooper for the continued support of the Embassy of Sweden and UNIDO in supporting certification and export of cocoa to other countries.
“The Ministry of Agriculture has been advocating for farmers to earn a living income, and because of the importance we have placed on cocoa, we appreciate the Grow-2 project and officially launch this project on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture,” Mr. Teto added.