Food and Enterprise Development Program (FED)

Half of all Liberians generate their income through agriculture, yet agriculture is not seen as a business by the vast majority of Liberian farmers. Using an approach tailored to specific conditions and locations, FED is helping Liberia achieve food security—in terms of food availability, utilization, and affordability—by building incentive structures that assist local stakeholders to adopt a commercial approach.

Our market-led and value chain-driven methodology builds indigenous capacity, and focuses on benefiting Liberia’s women and youth. New market linkages are catalyzing income and job growth and increases in the production, processing, marketing, and nutritional utilization of rice, cassava, and vegetables in Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, and Margibi counties, a region targeted as a development corridor that fosters commerce, simultaneously improving food availability and access and dietary diversity.

FED is Africa’s largest project under President Barack Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative, which promotes a move away from subsistence and increasing food security by working with public and private bodies, including the Government of Liberia, the private sector, local nongovernmental groups, and other key stakeholders.

Sample Activities

  • Develop and disseminate improved technologies for agricultural productivity and profitability. Expand and modernize the input supply and extension systems.
  • Improve commercial marketing and food processing.
  • Bolster Liberian organizations that support business and farming.
  • Develop skills of agriculture-related workforce.
  • Launch a Market Development Fund to build Liberian capacity without compromising market development.

Select Results

  • Piloted productivity enhancing technologies, including treadle pumps, tube wells, power-tillers, rice de-hullers, and application of Urea Deep Placement.
  • Developed extension manuals and brochures used by hundreds of farmers.
  • Provided technical training in agriculture best practices for 18,646 farmers.
  • Training has led to more than 14,000 farmers applying improved technologies in more than 2,634 hectares.
  • Provided 224 interns with life-changing work experience across 54 Liberian businesses.
  • Engaged 1,138 youth through the “Back to the School Garden” initiative to get youth involved in agricultural best practices.
  • Trained 164 women in food processing and preservation skills so they can jump-start their own businesses.
  • Generated private sector investment of $422,600 in rice seed production, vegetable seedling, and goat shelters.
  • Provided 435 textbooks to four educational institutions, benefitting nearly 3,000 students and instructors.
  • Forty-five percent of FED’s beneficiaries are youth (ages 16 to 35), while 48 percent are women.
  • Played a crucial role in the development of Liberia’s first National Agriculture Diploma Curriculum, which was tested in key vocational institutions. A total of 2,861 students and instructors benefited from FED’s assistance, including establishment of demonstration farms, provision of textbooks and training aimed at improving the quality of instruction.

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development
Contract: 2011–2016