Solidaridad West Africa has partnered with the European Union (EU) to facilitate the implementation of the US $4m Cocoa Value Chain Development Program (COVADEP) in Liberia. Of the total amount, Solidaridad will provide US $1m.
According to local media reports, the agreement will run over the course of a 4-year intervention that seeks to increase incomes, improve livelihoods and the resilience and competitiveness of the Liberia Cocoa sector in a bid to reduce poverty.
The Program Manager of Solidaridad, Boima Bafaie, said that the COVADEP program comes just after the two years implementation of the Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Program (LICSIP) by Solidaridad’. LICSIP aims to create a vibrant, competitive and profitable cocoa economy within a robust national regulatory and institutional framework.
Under this partnership with the European Union, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and COVADEP will implement and build on LICSIP by including more cocoa farmers, processors, associations and communities. Further and according to Bafaie, the organization will work with local partners and companies that are involved in the production and processing of cocoa in Liberia over duration of the program.
He also stated that the program will focus on young Agriculture graduates at various universities and colleges. This, he emphasized, is with a view to equipping them with the necessary knowledge to become entrepreneurs. will
The COVADEP program is projected to set up 10 additional Centers for Cocoa Development (CCDs) by 2023. This will serve to allow more cocoa farmers and allied groups to access several support services to improve productivity and produce sustainable and certified cocoa.