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EU Vows To Support Smallholder Farmers, Fishers

By Alex Yomah
The European Union- Liberia partner has vowed to help the Liberian government aimed at increasing food and nutrition security in the country.
The EU Head of delegation in Liberia Mr. Laurent Delahouse made the assurance Tuesday during a one day Smallholder farmers and fishers forum organized by the European Union Agriculture and Fisheries Campaign at the Bella Casa l Hotel.
The EU indicated that the program was also intended to showcase all projects in Agriculture and fisheries funded under the 11th European Development Fund as well as to identify thematic E’s programmes.
Mr. Delahouse assured that the EU will work with the Liberian government where necessary while emphasising roads, transportation sectors as areas of concerns.
“We are ready to work closer more than we did before. We are going to focus on value chain approach in the subsistence of smallholder farmers,” Mr. Delahouse stated.
“We are committed to increase food nutrition and EU is here to deliver,” he assured the Liberian government.Today, we are putting smallholders in the limelight; farmers, fishers, traders (women and men), owners or managers of small processing businesses,” he mentioned.
According to EU, the European Union has decided to direct its resources because smallholders’ farmers and fishers are still the main labour force in these food-related sectors in Liberia, and as we all know that feeding a nation is no mean feat.
EU added that its intervention focuses on increasing productivity sustainably, improving nutrition, and adding value to selected products beyond the farm gate.
“Many countries around the world are still depending on import of their main staple foods, and Liberia is no different,” he emphasized.
“While the EU and Liberia are nowadays building on global trade agreements, their experiences at home have shown that building food system from the bottom up through place based approaches that seek to make the most out of local assets,” EU head of Delegation noted.
For her part, Agriculture Minister, Jeanie Cooper, speaking, acknowledged the forum organized by the EU and said the topic highlighted for discussion was indeed intended to boost the agricultural sector.
She said the smallholder farmers and fishers forum discussed key issues including, nutritious and quality food, integrated Rice-fish farming project; Liberia cocoa sector improvement program, securing land rights for women and rural communities in south-eastern Liberia, long term technical support to the Liberia national fisheries among others.

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