AfDB Supports Liberia’s Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Project

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Tunis, 29 April 2009 – Efforts by the Liberian government to improve the living conditions of the people received a big boost on Wednesday in Tunis, where the Boards of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessionary window of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, approved a grant of 6.5 million Units of account (UA*), about US$ 9.7 million, to finance an agricultural rehabilitation project.

The Board approved UA 6 million ADF and UA 0.5 million grants from the Fragile States Facility (FSF), for the Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation Project, which aims at increasing the income of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs including women, on a sustainable basis, as part of the country’s efforts to provide food security and reduce poverty. An additional UA 6.0 million to cover the total ADF financing of 12.5 million for the project would be provided during 2010.
It will be implemented in six years under three components: Agriculture Infrastructure Rehabilitation; Agricultural Production and Productivity Improvement; and Project Management.

Eight counties (30 districts) including rice producing counties in the eastern part of the country (Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru and Maryland counties); and major cassava producing areas to the north-west (Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Montserrado and Grand Bassa counties) will be served through the project.

When successfully completed, the project will directly benefit an estimated 9,610 households, whose incomes are expected to increase by 300%. Beneficiaries will also participate in infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance.

Estimated at UA 18.3 million, the project will be financed by the Bank Group, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Liberian government and the project beneficiaries. The ADF and IFAD resources (UA 3.4 million) will finance 87% of the foreign exchange costs and local costs amounting to UA 15.9 million.

This project complies with all applicable Bank policies, including its Medium-Term Strategy; ADF-XI; Fragile State Facility (FSF); Policy on Eligible Expenditures for Bank Group Financing; and AfDB World Bank Joint Assistance Strategy (JAS).

It is aligned to the ADB/World Bank Joint Assistance Strategy (JAS) for Liberia which focuses on improved access to key infrastructure services, improved agricultural and natural resource management in a way that generates pro-poor growth; and improved business and investment climate. The project is consistent with Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) for the period 2008-2011., which aims at consolidating peace and security; revitalizing the economy; strengthening governance and the rule of law; rehabilitating infrastructure and delivering basic services.
* UA 1 = US$ 1.49507= as at 29-04-2009

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