About WAAPP Liberia

The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program

The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) is a two-phase, 10-year Adaptable Program, each of five years duration. The first phase, referred to as WAAPP 1A involves three countries – Ghana, Mali and Senegal. These countries started implementing the WAAPP over five years ago. With the exception of Mali that experienced a period of Civil Unrest that caused the suspension of several developmental activities including the WAAPP, the other two countries have completed their first phase and have begun the implementation of WAAPP 2A, which is the remaining 5 years. The second group of countries known as WAAPP 1B includes Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, while Benin, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo are in the WAAPP 1C group. WAAPP 1D which will include Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania is still being processed. The development objective of WAAPP is to generate and disseminate improved technologies in the participating country’s top priority commodity sub-sector that are aligned with regional priorities.

The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF) is the sub-regional coordinating institution Under the ECOWAS framework. WECARD/CORAF main office is located in Dakar, Senegal.

The Birth of WAAPP Liberia
At the National Launch of the project, the Director of the Program Management Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Moses Zinnah explained how WAAPP Liberia came into being. In his introductory and welcome statement, Dr. Zinnah told the audience of the tireless efforts of a group of Liberians who were locked up in a hotel in Accra Ghana, drawing up a document on behalf of Liberia that was later presented to the World Bank. After negotiations, the document was approved and Liberia was included on a list of other West African countries already participating in the Regional Project. The collaborated efforts of great Task Team Leaders also played a major role in the establishment of WAAPP Liberia.
After the approval of the program, an interim team was brought on board to begin the process of recruiting project staff. They included  Mr. Nyada Yoba Baldeh; Project Management Consultant & Interim Team Leader, Mr. Peterson Nyemah; Project Assistant and Ms. Vivian Gweaqmee; Administrative Assistant. The team was supervised by the PMU director. Sitting at the main office of the Ministry of Agriculture on Somalia Drive in Gardnersville near Monrovia, the interim team began its mandated task. Terms or References were advertised, applications were received, interviews and background checks were conducted and the 7 staff to begin and carry out the project were selected.

J. Cyrus Saygbe, Sr.     National Project Coordinator
Edward P. Borloh        Monitoring and Evaluation Officer
Elvis H. Sirleaf            Communications Officer
Fodey G. Kiazolu        Internal Auditor
Edwin R. Tucker         Procurement Officer
Henry H. Sele              Project Accountant
Ora M. Barclay            Administrative Assistant

The team took office on October 1, 2012 with a formal welcome ceremony. WAAPP Liberia was in full swing.

Project Components and Approach
The project has adopted the Regional WAAPP approach which results in four components which are described   below.
Component 1: Establish Enabling Conditions for sub-Regional Cooperation and Market Integration.
Aimed at strengthening and harmonization of systems (regulations, mechanisms and procedures) for recording and broadcasting technology products (genetic material, pesticides and other protection products for crops) to facilitate their marketing and distribution in the sub region. For regulations for the registration of genetic materials and pesticides at the ECOWAS level, WAAPP is to support the following efforts: WAEMU and CILSS on the establishment of rules and common technical standards for the seeds and pesticides; ECOWAS on the implementation of a common framework of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
National Committee for registration materials and pesticides in the participating countries, WAAPP is to support: revision, if necessary, of national procedures to align them with regional identification of improved technologies exist but are not officially published; Implementation of procedures for dissemination of new technologies, ensuring their access to private producers and the agro-food; Documentation on the characteristics of technology; The constitution of a file on technologies approved and disseminated; And promoting these technologies to the media.

For information system on agricultural technologies and expertise in regional research, WAAPP is to support the strengthening of the scientific information system established by the regional implementing agency; CORAF/WECARD to consolidate databases on technologies and expertise in agricultural research available in the sub region. As part of formal implementation of this component, the WAAPP is to finance consultant services to study and evaluate the policies, regulations and procedures existing in trade and technology diffusion; Seminars and workshops to promote the participation of private producers and the agro-food regulations in the preparation and evaluation of improved technologies; Short-term trainings to improve skills in the areas of information technology and communication; And finally the services of consultants to conduct studies to reduce operational costs related to dissemination of improved technologies (eg field trials, tests Culinary promotional materials, etc.)..

Component 2. Establishing National Centers of Specializations (NCOS).
National Centers of Expertise intended to strengthen compliance with national priorities with regional priorities within the national agricultural research systems (NARS).
Rehabilitation of essential equipment for the National Centers of Specialization, NCOS. WAAPP is to support the implementation of civil works (if required) and acquisition of equipment and scientific equipment in order to enhance sustainability, operability and attractiveness of the regional center. In the area of capacity building of researchers, WAAPP is to support programs on the job training and exchange programs. It is to also provide support for research costs and living expenses (airfare, per diem, housing, limited business expenses) of participating researchers. Also support to the Research and Development (R&D) focused on the development of plant material and reducing constraints (post-harvest losses) throughout the sectors, to promote adoption of improved technologies with the participation active producers and agribusiness. Another form of WAAPP support is to farmers for surveys and analysis of referral pathways, identifying research priorities and monitoring and evaluation of outcomes and impacts of technology transfer on agricultural productivity.

Component 3. Funding for Demand- Driven Technology Generation and Dissemination.
Financing Application Development and Adoption of Technologies aims to strengthen mechanisms for transparent financing of Research and Development in the participating countries in the sub region. CORAF/WECARD, who assumes the function of Regional Management Unit, will be responsible for managing the funds of competitive regional hub (and whose implementation is delayed further). The National Coordinating Units or Units of National Project Management (UNGP) will manage the funds of competitive national banking. As part of formal implementation of this component, the WAAPP will finance research programs of the participating countries focusing on priority sectors of the region (rice, cereals, tubers and groundwater); cross-border partnerships for both the supply side (research, extension, universities) for the application (producer organizations, private sector, civil society) working on issues of common interest; participation of producer groups or associations of agro-industry in conducting Research & Development at regional level.

Component 4. Project Coordination, Management, Monitoring and Evaluation.
This component aims to establish a structure and instruments of effective coordination, management and monitoring and evaluation. In addition, WAAPP / PPAAO aid in establishing effective coordination mechanisms between regional and participating countries. At the regional level, WAAPP / PPAAO is implemented by the CORAF which was mandated by ECOWAS to carry out the functions of Regional Management Unit of the Project (URGP). Nationally, WAAPP / PPAAO is implemented by National Units Project Management (UNGP) mandated by their respective governments. In Liberia, the Ministry of Agriculture is the National Government agency with the Mandate.

Project Rationale, Goal and Objective
Despite the country’s natural endowment, approximately half of the population is either food insecure or highly vulnerable to food shortages due in part to low agricultural productivity resulting from structural impediments, inadequate policies, and prolonged conflicts that displaced farming communities, degraded transport and processing infrastructures, and diminished productive capacities such as assets and skilled personnel. Specific constraints include weak land management and water control systems, limited production intensification and crop diversification, restricted market access due to poor food value chains (i.e., storage, processing, marketing channels, and credit), and  low institutional capacity. These constraints have served as disincentives for producing marketable surpluses, contributing to food insecurity and increased poverty.

The goal of WAAPP 1C is to achieve self-sufficiency and export capacity for rice production whilst improving productivity in rice and cassava along their respective value chains. The development objective of WAAPP 1C Liberia is to improve the productivity of rice and cassava along their respective value chains in order to enhance Liberia’s food self-sufficiency and regional competitiveness. Moreover, WAAPP 1C will contribute to rice and cassava productivity increase in the Mano River Union (MRU) countries also through the value chain development approach.

In Liberia, WAAPP is being implemented in 8 of the 15 counties. Namely; Bomi, Bong, Gbapolu, Grand Gedeh, Margibi, Maryland, River Gee and Sinoe counties.

The project is being financed by a loan from the World Bank & grant from Japan. The total budget is USD14,600,000.00 with the IDA providing USD 6,000,000.00; Japan, USD 8,000,000.00; and the Government of Liberia, USD 600,000.00 which is being provided in kind. The beneficiaries include; 150,000 (Farmers, researchers, Universities, Ministry of Agriculture, Central Agriculture Research Institute, CBOs& FBOs).

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