By Jefferson D.Tweh
BRAC Liberia in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture held a one day National Livestock Strategy Policy Validation confab on June 4, 2015 in Gardnersville, Montserrado County, with funding from the European Union.
The confab is aimed at increasing food security in poor rural areas in Liberia through livestock production, processing and marketing.
Speaking at the confab, the County Agriculture Coordinator (CAC) Grand Cape Mount County Sub-office, Mr. Edmond Greaves disclosed that the document was prepared based on the detailed findings of various studies, field survey, and discussions with farmers’ groups, an association with series of brainstorming sessions and meetings with stakeholders and the Ministry of Agriculture, and the purpose of the document is to assist MOA in formulating a national livestock policy and action plan.
According to him, Livestock (including poultry) is a growing sub-sector and it contributes to household and community economy and employment with sustenance and food security in Liberia.
Mr. Greaves added that the contribution of Agriculture Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is accounted for 61% in 2008 and livestock sub-sector is at about 14% of GDP and targeted to expand domestic production to satisfy 50% or more of national needs.
He added that the importance of livestock production has increased in Liberia over the years and household-based livestock farmers are dominated and most of them rear chickens, 24% and 43% household were involved in livestock and poultry production in 2008 or 2009.
Mr.Greaves told participants at the confab that livestock sector accounts for 14% of Agriculture Gross Domestic estimates and that there is low growth in aggregates livestock numbers, which include 1,270,875 chickens, 60,760 ducks, 8,275 cattle, 120,114 goats, 48,660 sheep and 70,520 pigs, 100% of guinea fowls and the livestock performs various functions including provision of food, nutrition, income, savings, draft power, manure, and transport.
Also speaking at the program, the Country Representative of BRAC, Mr. Mohammed Abdus Salam disclosed that his organization is delighted to be part of the confab and will support the draft policy document because agriculture is very essential.