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USAID FED Ups Profitability Of Goat Value Chain
By Decontee M. Wesseh
MONROVIA, September 14 (LINA) – The United States Agency for International Development Food and Enterprise Development (USAID FED) has increased productivity and profitability for the goat value chain in Liberia.
This was done in partnership with the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Bong County which established a breeding facility at which the improved goat stock was increased for multiplication, according to the Chief of Party of USAID FED, Lee Rosner.
The USAID FED project, which closes this year, supports four food value chains, including rice, cassava, vegetable and goat rearing.
With new methods and techniques employed, farmers’ annual yields have increased with value added to their produce.
USAID FED is a “Feed the Future” initiative of the Obama administration intended to ensure food security in 19 countries around the globe, 12 of which are in Africa.
Speaking Tuesday at the opening of a two-day Agribusiness Expo at the Monrovia City Hall in Sinkor, Rosner noted that goat meat is a mainstay of the Liberian diet and is also an important source of protein, especially in areas far from the coast.
Rosner indicated that goats continue to be a core household asset for many rural families, adding, “As such, improving the quality and survival of herds will have positive effects on Liberian livelihoods, nutrition and food security.”
According to him, the Expo which is being held under the theme: “Building a Food Secure Future in Liberia,” is to afford formal and informal agribusinesses, farming clusters and support organizations the opportunity to showcase their products and progress over the years.
He explained that FED tackled these challenges by addressing the entire value chain in working directly with goat farming groups across Bong, Nimba, Lofa, and Grand Bassa counties to ensure the improvement of herding practices.
Rosner indicated that training goat herders to construct goat shelter, reduce kid mortality rate and provide technical assistance to herding groups on improved nutrition and care practices are some of the activities that improved the goat value chain.
He said FED also supported a cadre of veterinarians providing fee-based veterinary services to partner with herding groups; established goat marketing hubs to facilitate trader transaction and provide business training on improved profitability, among others.