European Union Ambassador to Liberia Hélène Cavé has expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the Liberia Cocoa Sector Improvement Program, LICSIP.
The EU head of Delegation made the disclosure recently in Nyarta, Bong County after touring several interventions of the program including a cocoa nursery and several model farms.
“I wanted to see … if we can register some progress after few months since the project was launched, and I am very happy because the answer is yes”, she says.
Ambassador Cavé indicates that it is amazing to see how the implementation is already positively
impacting the lives of the communities in which they are being implemented.
“The communities already see the benefits of the program, because they have learned new techniques and they see how important it is to have seasonal crops alongside the cocoa”, she notes.
The EU Envoy states that farmers are already earning some money from the program, not the cocoa itself, but from other crops. According to her, they are already seeing some improvements in their daily lives, adding that this is something that is very motivating for them.
“Some will tell you that they can buy rice and send their children to school. And if I can send these messages back to the EU, people will be very happy to see that their money is well used. This is very positive,” she continues.
Concerning a possible extension of the program, Ambassador Cavé points out that it is too early to speak to that. The program is being financed under the 11th European Union Development Fund.
She however notes that a project that works well as the LICSIP, will always have something after.
“Maybe not an extension, but a LICSIP 2, as we are very impressed with what we have seen so far”, she says.
Ambassador Cavé calls on the farmers to continue being positive, believing that this will work.
According to her, some of them said that they have never had such a support, so the financial support from the EU along with the technical expertise from Solidaridad is a very good spirit.
The Ambassador visited sites in Totota, Nyarta and Geayard, all in Bong County. She met with thrilled farmers and women groups who work at the nurseries and on the farms.
She was joined by senior staff of Solidaridad West Africa, Liberia (SWAL) and officials of the National Authorizing Office (NAO) of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).