LIBERIA – The Government of Liberia has secured US$9.6 million (about L$2 billion) from the Climate Change Adaptation Fund (CCAF) for a project aimed at developing a climate resilient agriculture in the country.
The project “Building Climate Resilience in Liberia’s Cocoa and Rice Sectors” is an initative of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia.
The project’s main aim is developing programmes to help developing the country adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.
According to CCAF, Liberia is one of the African countries affected by climate change resulting to reduced agricultural yield and threatening food security.
CCAF says that climate change in Liberia is being fuelled by a number of contributing factors including shifting cultivation, unsustainable logging practices, unregulated coastal mining, high levels of biomass consumption (charcoal and firewood) and reduced river flows due to high evaporation due to drought.
According to a report by the USAID, Agriculture supports 75 percent of the population in Liberia and is contributes over 61% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The US Agency notes that changes in climate can affect agricultural lands and production, and threaten agricultural livelihoods.
Increases in total annual rainfall and in the number of heavy rainfall events may also cause floods that erode and inundate agricultural land surfaces, subsequently reducing soil quality and threatening crop yields.
Changes in climate also influence livestock grazing and survival, pest and weed resistance, and the prevalence of animal diseases.
USAID notes that if not properly managed, the negative impacts of climate change on agricultural production can lead to an increase in food prices, reduced access to and availability of food, and an increase in nutritional deficiencies in vulnerable populations and families.
In addition, warmer temperatures can lead to a decline in fish stocks, potentially exacerbating non-climate stressors threatening fisheries, such as overfishing, increased demand for fish, lack of surveillance and control of industrial and artisanal fishing activity, civil war, and pollution.
To address the problems of climate change in Liberia, Building Climate Resilience in Liberia’s Cocoa and Rice Sectors has developed three components to guide its scope of work.
These components are; climate resilient agricultural production and post-harvest combined with livelihood diversification, provision of climate resilient rural transport and water infrastructure, and strengthening institutional capacity and political commitment.
In the long run, the projects main aim is to address key climate vulnerabilities in agriculture and water resource management in the rice and cocoa value chain.
The climate change resilience project is also expected to address the needs of small and vulnerable farmers in this West African country.
Following the acquisition of funds to fund the project, Randall Dobayou, EPA’s Acting Executive Director, said that the Agency chose to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as the multilateral entity responsible for the implementation of the project.
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