President George M. Weah has submitted to the House of Representatives a US $ 55 million funding agreement for ratification titled âRural Economic Transformation Projectâ between the Republic of Liberia and the International Development Association (IDA).
The agreement was presented to the House on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, during the House’s regular session on Capitol Hill.
According to the President’s communication, IDA has agreed to provide Liberia with a loan, which is considered non-concessional financing in the amount of US $ 55 million to improve production and market access for smallholders. farmers and agribusinesses for the selected value chains in the project participation in counties.
The President’s cover letter that accompanied the loan agreement stated that the commitment commission rate is one-quarter of one percent (1/4 of 1%) per annum on the credit balance withdrawn. The principal payment dates are February 15 and August 15 of each year from August 15, 2031 to August 15, 2049, at 2.63%, and February 15, 2050, at 2.69%.
According to President Weah, this agreement is in the best interest of the country and its ratification will help improve the economy and transform the productivity of small markets. The deal, according to the president’s letter, will strengthen the power of smallholder farmers in some counties.
âDear Mr. Speaker, I hope the Legislature will ratify this agreement which will improve productivity and market access for small farmers in some counties.
Following the reading of the financing agreement, a motion was tabled, transmitting the instrument to the Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Expenditure, Ways, Means and Finances, Judiciary and Agriculture of the House. The joint committee is expected to report to the plenary for legislative action.
The agreement aims to enable smallholders and commercially oriented farmers to improve their capacities, operate competitively in selected value chains and establish more reliable links with buyers, including by preparing activities pre-investment, by identifying opportunities for productive alliances between agribusinesses, processors, business partners, identifying potential business opportunities for productive alliances, preparing business plans and proposals for sub-projects investment as well as building the capacity of technical service providers to improve the quality of services provided to productive alliances.
It is also considering carrying out a program of agricultural investment activities that would focus on modernizing individual farms, improving productivity, reducing losses to meet market demands, empowering farmers. women through the granting of grants to eligible beneficiaries.
The loan will also be geared towards improving market access through the rehabilitation of existing roads, the construction of critical short-range cross drainage structures and the modernization of a selected agro-market.
It will strengthen the capacity of some essential public services to enable agribusiness, within the Ministry of Agriculture and the Cooperative Development Agency (CDA), to improve the quality of their agrifood services, among others. . By EJ Nathaniel Daygbor Editing by Jonathan Browne