The prolong period of conflict in Liberia compounded by the effects of the Ebola crisis resulted in chronic food insecurity and severe nutritional deficits. Many Liberians continue to suffer from food insecurity and inadequate nutrition, especially in rural areas. 49 percent of the Liberian population are considered food insecure and malnutrition of children persist, with 35 percent of children under 5 years of age stunt and 15 percent of them underweight. Food insecurity is more prevailing in rural areas, and agricultural production remains the most important livelihood for the average Liberian, involving 67 percent of the population. Liberia heavily depends on food imports, and rice, the staple grain for most of the population, is imported on a large scale. Liberia’s dependence on food imports intensifies its vulnerability to external price shocks. The impacts of climate change is expected to aggravate the food insecurity situation and increase the risk for low income population to fall deeper into poverty.
The project aims to improve food and nutrition security and reduce poverty among the targeted rural population in the counties of Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, River Gee, Maryland, Bomi, Bong, Montserrado, Sinoe, Grand Bassa, River Cess, and Grand Cape Mount through increased agricultural productivity and production of smallholder farmers, with a focus on food crops such as rice, cassava, and vegetables; improved smallholders’ value addition, market access, and income; and strengthened capacities of government institutions, farmers, and producer organizations. The project objectives are fully aligned with and support the Liberia Agricultural Sector Investment Program II for 2018-2022 (LASIP II) development priorities.