Farmers SupportCenter Liberian Farmers Support Center 80% of the poor in Liberia and the West Africa Mano River Basin region are rural farming families, who are facing subsistence-level agriculture, with low yields, limited resources, training, and inadequate funds needed to improve productivity.VOSIEDA operates a Farmers’ Support Center to assist smallholder farmers in increasing productivity. The center offers services such as startup financing, agricultural training, market facilitation, and high-quality farming inputs, which are delivered to their farms. These services help farmers increase sales, yield, and household income, leading to profit maximization. Apply Today About The Small-Scale Farmers Support Center Agriculture is Liberia’s main economic sector, however, small-scale farmers lack proper resources, funding, and training, which hamper their productivity. Due to insufficient start-up capital, they struggle to afford essential inputs, such as fertilizers and seeds, and the remote locations of their farms make accessing these inputs almost impossible, leading to low agricultural output. Small-scale farmers also face challenges such as pest infestations, transportation difficulties, and inadequate storage facilities, making it almost impossible for them to access local trade networks. In response, the Farmers Support Center was established in 2016 to help small-scale farmers overcome these challenges. The project was launched by VOSIEDA with support from the Japanese Embassy for Liberia and Sierra Leone. Collaborating with smallholder farmers to establish sustainable supply chains Cereal Empowering Cereal's Farmers In West Africa’s impoverished societies, cereal farming has become the dominant occupation. Liberia, for example, has 80% of its impoverished population cultivating rice, but they are struggling to improve their harvest yields due to a lack of resources and training. VOSIEDA is taking action to address this issue by providing high-quality seeds and on-farm training to improve farming practices. By doing so, they aim to help farmers achieve better harvests and overcome the challenge of subsistence-level farming. Roots and Tubers Securing A Future For Roots & Tubers Farmers Root and tuber crops, such as cassava, sweet potato, yams, potatoes, and cocoyam, play a crucial role in West African agriculture and food security. They are preferred by locals and constitute a significant portion of their diet. Unfortunately, investment in RTCs has been lacking. That is why VOSIEDA is stepping in to support RTC farmers through value chain development, training, provision of inputs, and improved planting materials. Horticulture Securing A Future For Horticulture Farmers The fruit and vegetable sector in Liberia is undeniably diverse. Unfortunately, numerous farmers are unable to access improved fruit and vegetable seeds or receive adequate training. Furthermore, most farms utilise hazardous pesticides and agrochemicals to safeguard their crops against insects, weeds, and plant diseases. Oil Palm Empowering Oilpalm Farmers Palm oil’s extensive use and rapid growth in West Africa raises concerns about the unsustainable environmental practices linked to the establishment of new plantations. Furthermore, smallholders’ lower yields resulting from a lack of awareness of good farming practices are troubling. Our efforts are focused on promoting responsible supply chains. Cocoa Empowering Cocoa Farmers Worldwide, and particularly in developing countries, the agriculture sector is responsible for causing deforestation mainly through the production of palm oil, soy, cattle, and wood products, which are the primary culprits. Together, these factors are responsible for a loss of 40% of forests, equivalent to an average of 3.8 million hectares per year. Although cocoa has a relatively small impact on a global scale, it still has a significant effect on deforestation and biodiversity in some areas, especially in the Upper Guinea Tropical Rainforest. VOSIEDA supports smallholder cocoa farmers to avoid deforestation in their supply chain while improving yields. Livestock Improving Livestock's Farmers Productivity Livestock farming is a traditional way of life in Liberia, and an important way for many of the poorest farmers to earn their livelihoods. However, farmers face significant challenges in accessing new opportunities for making money. These include limited access to markets, technical advice, and high-quality feed and vaccines. VOSIEDA is providing practical support to farmers through training sessions, farming cooperatives, and by supporting Community Animal Health Workers. By working together, we can help farmers to take advantage of new opportunities and improve their livelihoods. 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". Varbai PayeSmall-Scale Farmer "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". Elizabeth MulbahSmall-Scale Farmer “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 ZuwehSmall-Scale Farmer Previous Next Some supporters and partners the Liberian Farmers Support Center.