Grow-Liberia is a private sector development initiative operating in Liberia to promote pro-poor economic growth and stability through partnerships with the private sector and as part of its support to improving the agriculture sector of Liberia has form a robust partnership with the Liberia Agriculture regulatory Authority, formerly the Liberia Marketing and Produce Corporation (LPMC) that will benefit over 3,000 cocoa farmers in Liberia.
According to GROW’S Team Leader, Yoqual Lavala, under the partnership; this entity is rendering support to the LPMC and local cocoa farmers in Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties to boost the production of cocoa in Liberia. Speaking at a turnover ceremony of series of items including a desktop computer at the LPMC compound at the Free Port of Monrovia recently, the Grow-Liberia Team leader noted that GROW is currently working with over 3000 UTZ certified cocoa farmers in several communities in eastern Nimba including Buutuo, Duaplay and Karhnplay.
UTZ is the world’s largest cocoa certification program working together with key industry members such as Mars, Nestle, and Heinz to create an effective sustainability program with effective certification and traceability tools for socially and environmentally responsible cocoa production that meets the needs of both producers and markets.
He stressed that it is important for the local farmers to be aware of the price of cocoa so as to promote fairness and enable farmers to get the maximum profits of their products; noting that there are clear indications that cocoa will make a big boost to the agriculture sector of Liberia in the near future.
LPMC’s Deputy Managing Director for Administration, Andrew S. Allakamenin, describing the partnership as a win-win situation, called on GROW to assist in constructing warehouses for farmers to address the challenges of storage and erect billboards in the communities. He asserted that part of his agency’s mandate is to ensure that Liberia cocoa is certified and farmers are given the fair share of their produce and trained to bargain their products.
Also, the Intervention Assistant of Grow-Liberia, Joseph B. Johnson noted that under his entity’s Warehousing Aggregation intervention, Grow-Liberia has renovated a warehouse in Karnplay and built one in Buutuo that is able to take in 800 tons of cocoa; and in addition provided 25 dryers to farmers with each holding up to 400 kilograms of cocoa.