“Our focus now at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is ensuring that current and incoming donor funded projects in the agriculture sector make maximum impacts on farmers. In the past, the focus had been on outputs rather than impacts”.
Those were the words of Agriculture Minister, Jeanine Milly Cooper, to the Public Accounts and Expenditure Committee of the House of Representatives on Friday when she honored its invitation to appear before it for hearing.
The hearing was to get updates on a multi donor funded project named: “Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement & Commercialization (SAPEC)”. The Committee has been holding hearings into the SAPEC Project since October 2019.
The SAPEC Project comes to an end in June this year after it started in 2013. Its objectives are to enhance incomes of small holder farmers, particularly women and rural youth and Intensify land under cassava, rice and vegetable production and improve land husbandry.
According to the project’s profile, “SAPEC covers 12 of Liberia’s 15 counties, excluding Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties. Total cost is approximately US$52.9 million supported by grants from World Bank’s Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) Trust Fund grant of US$46.5million; and ADF (AfDB) grant of US$6.4 million”.
Upon assuming office in February this year, Minister Cooper revealed, as part of her vision for the agriculture sector, “We will work with our partners to coordinate funding to the sector and align resources to make sure that Liberians thrive, but not just to subsist. As a Government, we should take the lead in determining how resources are allocated”.