Solidaridad Network

01/13/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/13/2020 07:57

More cocoa farmers to benefit from new deal reached in Liberia

Isaac Gyamfi (right) signed the new partnership deal on behalf of Solidaridad while Ivan Borisavljevic represented the European Union delegation in Liberia

The Cocoa Value Chain Development Programme (COVADEP) comes on the heels of about two years of implementation of the Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Programme (LICSIP) by Solidaridad to create a vibrant, competitive and profitable cocoa economy within a robust national regulatory and institutional framework. Under this new partnership with the European Union supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, COVADEP will complement and build on LICSIP by including more cocoa farmers, processors, associations and communities in the Bong, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Nimba and River Gee counties.

Key national stakeholders witnessed the deal

Representatives of the European Union, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority and the media witnessed the signing of the new partnership.

Representatives of key state institutions join the European Union and Solidaridad for the deal

'The government of Liberia recognizes and appreciates the work of Solidaridad and the contribution of the European Union to the agricultural sector. It is our expectation that all the sector related interventions could be well coordinated to improve the wellbeing of farmers' - Hon. Robert Fagans, Deputy Minister for Planning and Development at the Liberia Ministry of Agriculture.

Ivan Borisavljevic, Team Leader for Resilience at the European Union signed the partnership agreement on behalf of the Union. He commended Solidaridad for the high-level of expertise exhibited in the implementation of the cocoa programme funded by the EU.

'This new contract with Solidaridad expands on our ongoing partnership to improve the Liberia cocoa sector, which is one of the European Union's key sectors of interventions. I assure you of the Union's continuous support to the development of Liberia' - Ivan Borisavljevic,

Mr. Isaac Gyamfi, Regional Director for Solidaridad West Africa, pledged Solidaridad's commitment to supporting the continual improvement of the Liberian cocoa sector by contributing its vast experience in implementing cocoa sustainability programmes across West Africa and around the world.

'We consider our work successful when it improves the livelihoods of farmers, increases national revenue and sector resilience and maximizes benefits for all supply chain actors. We will use our skills, knowledge and expertise to wisely apply the resources at our disposal to improve farmers' living conditions in line with the government's Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development' - Isaac Gyamfi

Also present at the signing of the new Solidaridad-EU agreement for cocoa value development was Dr. John Flomo, the Director-General of the Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulation Authority, under whose leadership Solidaridad supported the authority to develop the first-ever cocoa and coffee policy in Liberia.

'We look forward to deepening our working relationship with Solidaridad under this new programme to improve the quality of Liberian cocoa, be competitive on the international market and increase traceability' - Dr. John Flomo.

What the new cocoa programme will do

Until 2023, the Cocoa Value Chain Development Programme will set up 10 additional Centres for Cocoa Development to allow more cocoa farmers and allied groups to access several support services to improve productivity and produce sustainable and certified cocoa. Solidaridad will support more women and youth as entrepreneurs through incubation centers and promote cocoa value addition and certification through market engagement with international cocoa off-takers to enhance revenue generation for the Liberian economy.

Under the programme, Solidaridad will support the training of appropriate institutions to enforce inclusive sector policies, incubate new cocoa related small businesses, develop systems for the supply of improved planting materials and investment incentives to promote downstream development.

Learn more about Solidaridad's cocoa programme here