The Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program in Liberia is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project that aims to work with the Government of Liberia (GOL) to increase agriculture productivity, profitability and access within the rice, cassava, vegetable and goat value chains, improve nutrition and strengthen food security. FED is focused on four priority counties (Grand Bassa, Bong, Nimba and Lofa) and two secondary counties, (Magribi and Montserrado). FED will be working with partners (public and private) throughout these four value chains; improving productivity, strengthening access to inputs and services, and creating market linkages, with a particular focus on women and youth. The objectives of the program are:
- Increase agriculture productivity and profitability and improve human nutrition;
- Stimulate private enterprise growth and investment;
- Build local technical and managerial human resources.
FED’s activities will work with the Ministry of Agriculture and the private sector to link communities to agricultural inputs (including improved seeds), extension services, nutritious food products, processing services, market information, transportation, credit, and appropriate education, training, and enterprise services.
Over the life of FED, expanded market linkages will lead to substantial income and job growth and major increases in the production, processing, marketing, and nutritional utilization of rice, cassava and vegetables in Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Margibi counties. These counties are being targeted in the context of regional development corridors that foster intra- and inter-county commerce, simultaneously improving food availability and access for all Liberians.
A Market Development Fund (MDF) will be available to help build Liberian capacity — partnering across the public sector, private sector, and civil society — to ensure ownership of FED-supported activities prior to the program’s conclusion. MDF funds will be administered through carefully structured local subcontracting arrangements. Every allocation of MDF funding will be underpinned by an exit strategy that extracts the FED program from its interventions without compromising market development.
FED’s methodology is market-led, value chain-driven, continuously dedicated to indigenous capacity building, and specifically focused on benefiting Liberia’s women and youth. Our approach aims to be collaborative, catalytic and driven by the goals and objectives of our partner clients. It will lead to increases in incomes for rural households, new employment opportunities for Liberians, increased access to food and improved household dietary diversity scores for food-insecure Liberians, and the adoption of improved inputs, farming practices, and technologies that boost agricultural productivity.