Small-Scale
Farmers
Support
Center, Liberia

About the Small Scale Farmers Support Center

Even though agriculture is Liberia’s predominant economic sector, it is still in its rudimentary stage of development. Majority of  small-scale farmers lack resources, training and funds to increase their farm’s productivity.

Family farmers or small-scale farmers often lack startup capital to buy basics such as seeds and fertilizer, and many live-in rural areas that make it difficult to access these supplies. Besides, without proper agricultural training, family farmers often do not know how to improve agricultural output. For majority of them, translating harvests into profit presents an additional hurdle. Pest infestations, lack of transportation and storage facilities, rotting harvest, and difficulties accessing local trade networks are some of the issues that prevent Liberia small – scale farmers from getting the most from their farming.

The Farmers Support Center was established in 2016 as a project of VOSIEDA with initial funding from the Japanese Embassy for Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The ‘Framers' Center’ works with small holder farmers to create sustainable supply chains of the following products:

COCOA

Empowering Cocoa's Farmers

The global demand for cocoa is rising. Yet most the cocoa producers in West Africa, particularly Liberia are stuck in a cycle of poverty, having no incentive to increase their productivity and quality. We provide small-scale cocoa farmers with improved inputs and up-to-date agricultural training to improve crops harvests.
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OIL PALM

Empowering OilPalm Farmers

Palm oil is one the most used and fastest growing vegetable oil in West Africa. However, unsustainable environmental practices associated with the establishing new plantations is a growing concern. Besides, smallholders often suffer from lower yields due to a lack of knowledge on good farming practices. We are encouraging responsible supply chains.
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Horticulture

Securing A future for Horticulture Farmers

The fruit and vegetables sector are one of the diverse economic sectors in Liberia. Yet, many farmers have no access to improved fruits and vegetables seeds and proper training. In addition, majority of farms use harmful pesticides and agrochemicals to protect their crops from insects, weeds, and plant diseases.
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Cereal

Empowering Cereal's Farmers

Cereal farming is a dominant profession of West Africa’s poor: for example, 80% of Liberia’s poor grow rice and but are trapped in a state of subsistence-level farming. They don’t only face outrageously low yields, but lack resources, training, or funds to increase their productivity. VOSIEDA is supplying high-quality seeds, and on-farm training on best farming practices.
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Livestock

Improving Livestock's Farmers productivity

Population growth and decreasing availability of bushmeat in West Africa is leading to increasing demand for livestock. This changing livestock sector puts great stress on natural resources and the livelihoods of millions of farmers. We are promoting efficient land management and creating balance between food security, poverty, equity, environmental sustainability and economic development.
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Roots and Tubers

Securing A future for roots & tubers Farmers

Root and tuber crops (RTC), including cassava, sweet potato, yams, potato, cocoyam, etc.are important to agriculture and food security in West Africa, mainly because they meet local food preferences and provide important part of local diet. Despite their importance, investment in RTC has been much lower. VOSIEDA is supporting root and tuber crops farmers through value chain developme
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Context

Despite an abundance of natural resources, and a relatively small population, Liberia, is caught in a vicious cycle of poverty and food insecurity. Limited availability of improved seeds, technologies that reduce pre- and post-harvest losses, inadequate technical assistance, limited availability of pliable farm- to- market roads, and a lack of medium to long-term credit hamper the fulfillment of Liberia’s

Working with small-scale farmers

At the ‘Farmers Support Center’, we provide small-scale or family farmers with improved seeds and other inputs based, making these supplies accessible in rural Liberia. In addition, our technicians provide up-to-date agricultural training to improve crops agronomic and improve harvests. We also help farmers to added value, store their harvest, transport to local markets and build relationships with local traders.

Our strategies to fight rural poverty

Read how VOSIEDA is empowering small - scale farmers to tackle climate change, improve their harvests, still healthy as families, and enrich their soil without demanding the environment with toxic chemicals.

We adopt holistic, long-term approach in working with small-scale farmers

We identify and work with small – scale family farmers in rural areas. We help them to get organized into groups/cooperatives. We identify common problems and develop solutions together. We provide organizational development support and orientate them about our services.

We supply the network of smallholders with improved seeds and training

We provide farmers high-quality seeds and other inputs base on need assessment. We do not sell seeds and services. Nevertheless, we work with farmers to develop a sustainable plan as to how to replenish the supplies so other farmers would benefit.

We provide training in improved agricultural techniques to increase harvest

We build farmers’ capacity in better agriculture and entrepreneurial skills. We do this through a ‘learning-by-doing’ approach, which enables farmers to improve their knowledge, and change attitudes – while working on their own farms. Our extension officers and lead farmers are trained as facilitators.

We safeguard and enhance soil health through climate smart and conservation practices

In the Mano River Union Basin region, the conversion of primary forests to croplands is drastically reducing forest cover while releasing millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. VOSIEDA is teaching farmers climate-smart and conservation agriculture and making trees seedlings accessible to rural farmers.

We offer value chain training, and market information so farmers sell their surplus

The challenge for government extension workers is that their practices are largely on production and technology transfer, with a limited focus on marketing and business management of small farms. VOSIEDA is stepping in this gap to address the differences between traditional and market-oriented farming.

We offer clean energy products to address climate change and empower farmers

In Liberia, most farmers use small oil lamps and cook on open wood fires. This causes atmospheric carbon emissions, leads to deforestation and indoor air pollution. VOSIEDA is promoting widespread adoption of clean energy products such as new solar lighting and clean cookstove technologies.

Smallholders farmers' Testimonials

“Despite many challenges facing smallholder farmers in Liberia, ranging from poor seeds, degraded soils, unreliable water supplies, poor access to markets and credits, VOSIEDA is now helping us to produce our food. She will provide us inputs for our next farming seasons".
"Most of our soils in Liberia are degraded because of unsustainable farming practices. Over the last decades, our farms’ yield dropped. However, since VOSIEDA started providing ongoing training in integrated soil fertility management, we now have enough harvest".
“In Liberia, small-holders have poor access to market information. Without good, timely, and accurate information on weather patterns, new technologies, and market fluctuation – our ability to make informed decision is compromised. VOSIEDA is working to change this through her program called ‘market for the poor’.
Lorpu zuweh
Small-Scale Farmer

Meet Our Agriculture and Livelihoods Team

Our leaders at VOSIEDA exemplify all of the qualities that make our organization extraordinary: integrity, expertise, and a commitment to service.

Elena Maushowerb

Pprogramme Officer
Food Security and Livelihood Enhancement

J. Hodo Bedell, Jr.

Program Coordinator
Food Security & Livelihood Enhancement

Grace M. Tour

Head of Programme

Register to volunteer

VOSIEDA is working to move communities beyond dependency and aid in West Africa’s Mano River Basin (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone). If you share this passion with us, then you might be a perfect fit! As a volunteer, you will educate others about the realities of extreme poverty, so they too can be inspired to make a difference. Please fill the form below to get in contact.​

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