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AfricaRice and the EU join forces to launch the Seeds4Liberia Project

— AfricaRice and the European Union (EU) signed an agreement formalizing the launch of the Seeds4Liberia project. This agreement signing took place in the presence of a delegation from the EU led by Dr Geertrui Louwagie, Dr Ismahane Elouafi CGIAR Executive Managing Director, Dr Baboucarr Manneh AfricaRice Director General, and Dr Akintayo Inoussa AfricaRice Country representative in Liberia. Seed4Liberia is a four-year project aiming to build resilient seed systems for rice, cassava, cocoa, coffee, and fish value chains to strengthen food and economic diversification in Liberia. With EU funding of EUR 6,500,000, its main goal is to enhance food and nutrition security in Liberia through demand-driven, well-structured, and regulated seed systems for rice, cassava, cocoa, coffee, and fish.

Farmers in developing countries are facing unprecedented challenges in dealing with crop management issues caused by climate change and anomalous climate events. Furthermore, current seed systems are not serving farmers’ needs for a variety of reasons, namely: they do not ensure seed diversity and quality; they lack decentralized (local) seed production and marketing organizations and enterprises that can cater to the specific demands of smallholder farmers. In this context, it is crucial to combine and scale successful strategies, methods, and tools to build resilient seed systems.

“The availability of quality seeds is a recurring problem we observed with rice farmers during the successful implementation of the DeSIRA Integrated Rice-Fish Farming System (IRFFS), and based on this observation the EU decided to support AfricaRice on a project covering other crops such as cassava, cocoa and coffee” explained Dr Akintayo Inoussa, AfricaRice Country representative in Liberia.

The Seed4Liberia project focuses specifically on:

  • Collecting market intelligence in Liberia on target crops and fish, including diversity, preferences, demand, supply, and key players within the respective seed system;

  • Strengthening the capabilities of key agricultural institutions and educational establishments in Liberia to achieve sustainable production, storage, and distribution of breeder seeds, seedlings, and quality fish broodstock;

  • Enhancing varietal turnover and increase yields in farmer’s fields with quality seeds of high-yielding, climate-resilient and nutritious varieties of target crops and fish species preferred by Liberians.

As lead implementer of the project, AfricaRice will be supported by implementing partners (IITA and WorldFish) and various local collaborators namely the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI), the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), Liberia Agriculture Commodity Regulatory Authority (LACRA), and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).



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