Since 2003, Liberia has made admirable economic strides in overcoming the legacy of two civil wars that left the country’s infrastructure and institutions in ruins. But in 2014, Liberia was once again plunged into the abyss by the deadly Ebola crisis which stalled the country’s considerable economic progress.
In 2015, IFC and GAFSP joined forces to support Liberian cocoa farmers in their efforts towards economic recovery following the Ebola crisis. This project was part of IFC’s Ebola Recovery Program which required a timely reaction to provide financing to local private companies to reach outgrowers and smallholder farmers and increase agricultural productivity.
The project is a blended finance solution from IFC and the Private Sector Window of GAFSP to provide long-term affordable financing to small cocoa farmers through Wienco Liberia. The funding provides capital for Wienco to build increased storage facilities across Liberia and offer pre-harvest financing of fertilizers and agricultural inputs to benefit small cocoa farmers in the country. The project consists of a six-year loan of up to $5 million, in which IFC provides up to $2.5 million and GAFSP provides a concessional loan of up to $2.5 million.
200% increase in cocoa yields
Wienco Liberia will partner with farmer associations to provide affordable agricultural inputs to farmers on a reliable and efficient basis. The Liberian cocoa farmers in this project can expect a total increase of 200 percent in their cocoa yields over the next five years – from approximately 750 kgs per hectare without the use of inputs to 2,250 kgs per hectare, based on the disciplined application of Wienco’s input package.
160% increase in farmer incomes
This project aims to deliver transformative and sustainable benefits to local communities in Liberia as they emerge from the height of the Ebola crisis. Thanks to the expected increase in their cocoa yields, farmers will have an anticipated increase of 160 percent in their incomes over the next five years.
7,500 new farmers will benefit
Over the next five years, it is expected that this project will reach up to 7,500 cocoa farmers across Liberia from the current base of 1,500 farmers.