AfDB and Liberia Sign $10 million Grant Agreement for Agriculture Project

14/05/2009
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Dakar, May 14, 2009 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Republic of Liberia, today, signed two agreements totaling UA 6.5 million, equivalent to US$ 10 million, for the implementation of an Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Project and financing training and technical skills needed for the project’s execution in the country. The signing took place during the 2009 AfDB Annual Meetings in Dakar.

Liberia’s Minister of Finance, Augustine K. Ngafuan, signed on behalf of his country, while Vice President for Operations, Zeinab El Bakri, signed for the African Development Bank Group.

The objective of the project is to increase the income of small holder farmers and rural entrepreneurs, including women on a sustainable basis. The project comprises infrastructure rehabilitation, production and productivity improvement. The project will enhance food security and poverty reduction.

Some 9,600 rural households are expected to directly benefit from the programme. Key benefits include rehabilitation of 100 km feeder roads, improved water management infrastructure for 1,600 Ha, 16 multifunctional marketing and commodity handling, processing and storage facilities and potable water supply facilities within 8 project counties. The project complements other ongoing projects, and its design responds to gender, environmental and climate change issues.

Speaking shortly after the signing, Mr. Ngafuan acknowledged the strong collaboration between Liberia and AfDB, adding: “Since the coming in of our government, the ADB budget support has been the highest, over US$ 20 million”.

For her part, Mrs. El Bakri said, “the Bank Group recognizes that the Government of Liberia is committed to improving rural livelihood”. She shared the Bank Group’s appreciation of the “excellent relations” between the Bank and Liberia, assuring the Finance Minister of AfDB support to the programmes pursued by Liberia, aimed at enhancing development in an environmentally sustainable manner.

“Project interventions have been designed to focus on the rehabilitation of agricultural production and marketing infrastructure, as well as community empowerment that will enable improvement in production and marketing”, she added.

The Project was initiated by the Government of Liberia as part of its effort toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly the eradicating of hunger and poverty.

This is the first Bank’s post-conflict development support to Liberia.