Right to Left: Deputy Commerce Minister for Small Business Administration, Andrew Paegar, LADA Chief of Party Daniel Gies, Abraham Tompoe, General Manager of Life Focus Liberia Inc and Robert Suah of New Farm Center General Supply.
LADA Signs US$118k Grant With Two Liberian Entities
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, April 9 (LINA) – In furtherance of its capacity-building support to farmers, the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA) has signed a US$118,000 grant with two Liberian businesses.
Abraham Tompoe, General Manager of Life Focus Liberia signed for US$108,000, while Robert Suah of New Farm Center General Supply signed for US$10,000.
Tompoe is an aggregator who buys vegetable from farmers and sells them to hotels, supermarkets and other businesses, while Suah is the head of the agro input dealers association that is involved in the sale of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds.
In separate remarks at the signing ceremony held at “The Liberia Marketplace” which is on the grounds of the Nancy B. Doe Market in Sinkor, Tompoe and Suah said they could hardly believe signing for the grant, and promised to use the funds for its intended purpose.
They want LADA to extend its support to other Liberian businesses.
Speaking earlier, LADA Chief of Party Daniel Gies said his entity’s support to the two Liberian businesses is in keeping with its mandates and vision.
LADA is a four-year project that aims to improve agricultural development and food security initiatives at the community and national levels.
The LADA project aims to strengthen aggregation clusters through facilitating business relationships that link suppliers, producers, processors, buyers and investors so that all actors along the value chain can benefit from sustainable growth.
He noted that the support to New Farm Center, dealer of agro import materials is to make farming inputs available to farmers, especially at affordable prices.
“There are a lot of farmers here who do not have access to affordable farming inputs; fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides so LADA is very pleased to be able to support the refurbishment, reconstruction of agro dealers shops for the members of the agro dealers association which we believe will win additional capital for the association,” Gies said.
Saturday’s signing ceremony is among several agreements that have been signed by LADA with Liberian businesses intended to increase their capacity.
Among other support already given Liberian businesses is the granting of a US$100,000 to the Gbehlay-geh Rural Women Multipurpose Farmers’ Cooperative, the increase of the capacity of two rice processors in Lofa County and the bringing into the country two U.S.-based Food experts to implement the CODEX standards on food safety.
Meanwhile, The LADA Chief of Party has hailed the Liberia Coco Cola Bottling Company for collaborating with his entity in addressing issues of food safety in the country.
To achieve its vision, LADA and her partner Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture is working towards improving access to finance, quality inputs, mechanization, agricultural advice and markets so that Liberian smallholder farmers can increase their production and participation in the market.