(Press Release) – As part of efforts to improve food security, nutrition and income in rural Liberia, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has entered a memorandum of understanding with AfricaRice and the Ministry of Agriculture to implement an EU sponsored Project titled “Desira” with its focus on rice and fish integration.
The signatories of the MOU are the Director General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, Dr. Inoussa Akintayo Country Director AfricaRice, and the Minister of Agriculture Madam Jennie Cooper. The signing ceremony took place recently in Monrovia.
The integrated rice and fish farmers are the primary direct beneficiaries of the project who will benefit directly through access to research, innovations and technologies that will improve the sustainability and productivity of their products.
The project will be implemented in five counties, namely Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Gbarpolu, Margibi, and Rivergee counties and will target three hundred sixty-five rural smallholder farmers.
Sixty percent targeted farmers will be women inclusive householders/families to build on their roles as food producers and ensuring food and nutrition of their families.
According to a NaFAA press release; the overall goal of the project is to enhance the development of rice and fish value chains for improved food, nutrition and economic security through targeted research and extension in Liberia.
The entire project will last for a period of 36 months and it is put at 3.5 million Euros.
The project is aimed at transforming high risk climatic traditional production system into more climatic resilient, high-yielding resource use efficient system.
This project will draw on the initial lessons learned from the FAO AfricaRice, WorldFish, and other research organizations; including initiatives on climatic-smart agriculture to design/modify and test technologies as well as practices that sustainably increase productivity and enhance adaptive development outcomes in Liberia.
Worldfish and AfricaRice through this project aim to adapt improved rice-fish systems technologies and better management practices in Liberia, together with the National Agriculture Research Extension Systems (NARES), the private sector and other donor funded projects.