AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata
AGRA Provides Seeds To Thousands of Liberian Smallholder Farmers
MONROVIA, December 16 (LINA)-Thousands of smallholder farmers in Liberia are set to benefit from an innovative seed distribution initiative that seeks to combine food security and Ebola containment strategies in Liberia.
The initiative, led by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in partnership with the government and other stakeholders, seeks to strengthen the fragile food system by providing quality seed paired with Ebola prevention messages to farmers – many of whom cannot access critical inputs, particularly seeds.
A dispatch from the African Press Organization (APO) issued on behalf of AGRA said “the 50MT of high yielding yellow maize seed donated on December 15, 2014 will go a long way in ensuring that smallholder farmers and their families remain food secure during this difficult period of the Ebola epidemic,” says AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, adding, “We do not want the Ebola epidemic to spiral into a food crisis.”
According to the dispatch, “Ebola has the potential to disrupt our food systems, since it affects the most productive parts of our economies – much like the HIV pandemic did in the past. AGRA has built a platform that can help deliver not only agricultural inputs but health messages and awareness,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Board Chair of AGRA and Chief Executive Officer of Econet Wireless.
“I am excited to see AGRA shoring up support for small holder agriculture in Liberia in partnership with the government and private sector, while combating Ebola,” he said, adding that the AGRA platform is one of the most effective delivery mechanisms in Africa led by Africans.
Though Liberia as a country is largely dependent on agriculture, the sector has suffered severe setbacks with many of its smallholder farmers unable to produce at an optimal level. This situation has been worsened by the negative impact of the Ebola epidemic, where farmers have left their fields for fear of Ebola.
AGRA worked with the governments of Liberia and Ivory Coast, the African Development Bank and the private sector in Mali in this effort. “AGRA is grateful to the African Development Bank President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka and the Ivory Coast government for assisting us to get the seeds across the border in good time,” said Dr Kalibata.
AGRA is a dynamic partnership working across the African continent to help millions of small-scale farmers and their families lift themselves out of poverty and hunger.