A consortium led by CERATH Development Organization on the 28th of October 2021 officially launched the Cassava Transformation Project (CASTRAP), at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia. CASTRAP is the Liberia national component of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) funded by the European Union, under the 11th European Development Funds.
CASTRAP is one of the 16 National Components, led at the regional level by the ECOWAS Commission, and aims at improving the contribution of selected value chains to sustainable growth and business climate in line with regional policies. The launch was attended by the German Ambassador to Liberia, the Deputy Minister for Industry, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, representatives from the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Program, United Nations World Food Program, United States Agency for International Development, Agribusinesses, local and international NGOs, and members of the press.
Speaking at the project launch, Madam Stefania Marrone, head of the infrastructure section, representing the European Union Delegation to Liberia lauded the agri-business-case and county-based approaches of the CASTRAP. Madam Marrone emphasized that the EU is committed to supporting Liberia’s development with a focus on the value chain, agribusiness, and trading farming as a business in Liberia.
Honorable Robert Fagans, Deputy Minister for planning and development at the Ministry of Agriculture, officially launched the Cassava Transformation Project on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture. He applauded the project for entreating farmers to acknowledge agriculture as a business. He said the Government of Liberia gives priority to agriculture under its pro-poor agenda for development and prosperity.
Mr. Isaac Donkor, the CASTRAP project manager, stated that the project seeks to enhance the competitiveness and regional integration of Liberia’s cassava sector through a value chain approach focused on sustained production, value addition, entrepreneurship, and sustainable markets. He added that CASTRAP presents an opportunity to lay the foundation, and in some areas build on existing structures to competitively transform the cassava value chain beyond primary production. He further noted during the baseline result presentation at the launch that the project adopts a county-based approach in other to transform the cassava sector in the South East.
The €5,624,740 million Euros project is implemented by CERATH Development Organization with the Rural Integrated Centre for Community Empowerment, Conservation Alliance Liberia, and Center for Enterprise Learning. The project is being implemented in the South East of Liberia in the five counties of Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Sinoe, and River Gee.
CERATH Development Organization is a non-profit organization that is focused on catalyzing development in Africa. CERATH has five (5) main intervention areas. These include Agriculture and Forestry, Fisheries, Renewable Energy, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), and Inclusive Finance. CDO is operational in Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, and Sierra Leone.