Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity
In West Africa, CNFA adapts its result-driven model to execute the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA), an initiative by USAID’s Feed-the-Future program. Started in December 2015, LADA aims to increase incomes of smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs throughout Liberia. By close of the project in December 2020, our work will have expanded access to and use of agricultural inputs, improved post-harvest activities, and streamlined high-potential agricultural value chains.
CNFA will work with a variety of local and international partners to increase Liberian farmer’s incomes. Technology partners will design customized, mobile-based solutions to connect farmers, agro-dealers, and entrepreneurs, and will develop a web of market information and digital finance services (DFS). CNFA will work in tandem with the Business Start-Up Center Monrovia’s network to reach producers, agro-dealers, processors, marketers and investors. The Global Cold Chain Alliance will support LADA by exploring Liberia-appropriate cold chain technologies.
This consortium will leverage its core technologies, networks, and capabilities to provide innovative solutions to current problems.
LADA uses a result-driven and sustainable approach to increase private sector investment in agricultural input systems, post-harvest handling, transport, and processing activities, and to strengthen the market environment with information, advocacy, and support. Our five main activities are:
- Making smallholders better-informed decision-makers for production, processing and marketing processes through value chain gap analyses. These will highlight potential interventions along the value chains with the greatest potential;
- Establishing 24 different aggregation clusters across the country: This process will focus on selecting appropriate agribusinesses, sustainable and transparent cooperatives, and established agro-dealers and then linking these actors together through specialized trainings and certifications;
- Training farmers with technical demonstrations, including choosing improved seed varieties, the timely application of fertilizer, assessing the quality of inputs, and meet-and-greets with local agro-dealers. Agro-dealers will be trained in the use of hand-held and mechanized seeders, deep placement of fertilizers, and mechanized technologies;
- Managing a credit guarantee facility to catalyze the extension of credit by supply companies and financial institutions to agro dealers by mitigating the high risk associated with agricultural lending. Another financial tool, the Agribusiness Investment Network (AIN), will be housed in BSC Monrovia, in order to provide a platform through which agricultural/agribusiness agents, NGO’s, and financial institutions can interact;
- Increasing access to market information and DFS: Enclude, a CNFA partner, will explore the development of a DFS product portfolio, delivery channels, and risk management mechanisms for LADA. Needs-based segmentation will then be used to cluster similar farmers around aggregators and to develop market-led financial products and delivery systems. This activity will be intertwined with the AIN to provide a virtual platform to enhance network services.
- CLA: The CLA approach ensures that learning accompanies implementation, best practices are identified and incorporated, synergies are maximized, promising new approaches are tested, and that all levels of experience and learning are shared;
- Youth: LADA will target youth in the project’s agro-dealer development interventions and will link smallholder farming youth groups to aggregators and buyers;
- Gender: CNFA will employ a full-time Gender Specialist to map gender roles within the targeted value chains, with a focus on the decision-making power of women and men, ascertain gender roles, and examine issues related to women’s time, workloads, access to information and control over resources;
- Social Capital: Building trust and collaboration, two drivers of social and economic development, is a CNFA priority for LADA. Our focus will be developing men, women, and youth as producers, suppliers, processors, and other agribusiness owners along the value chains.