Liberia’s Agriculture Sector
Only 5.4% of Liberia’s fertile land is used for agriculture, and food insecurity still cripples rural communities. Cultivation constraints cited by Liberian farmers include a lack of seeds, lack of tools, lack of financial capital, and lack of labor. Additionally, there are two million hectares of pastureland yet livestock account for only 14% of Liberia’s GDP. Often, farmers use local, less productive animal breeds and basic animal husbandry techniques. With limited access to government support services, in 2005-2006, the country imported nearly 6 million dollars in meat products – 3.2 million in fresh eggs alone.
In an effort to further serve the specific needs of Liberians, and exploit emergent market gaps, LEAD began a research farm in 2011 in Ganta, Nimba County. Since its inception, the farm has delivered 99 micro-loans to farmers; explored new appropriate technologies for farming, experimented with crop varieties, and constructed a small pigpen for ten pigs. LEAD hopes to expand its operations and build the capacity of local farms. By training farmers, providing them access to capital, and increasing crop yields, operations will directly enlarge and strengthen the regional economy and the regional food security.
Six Research Sectors