- Liberian palm oil farmers will receive a major boost to their production following signing of a grant aimed at poor communities by United States African Development Foundation yesterday.
The two grants signed will benefit Panta Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative Society and Pulukpeh Multipurpose Farmers Cooperative Society palm oil producers in central Liberia. USADF president Lloyd Pierson, said after signing ceremony his organisation was dedicated to working directly with marginalised groups in Africa, stating, "the grants signed today focus on investing in African ideas with individual empowerment and economic security at the center of it all."
According to USADF both grants will fund different needs of each community. The 20 affected communities located in Panta District of Bong County will collectively receive $163,936 dollars over three years to increase production potential from plantations and enhance their capacity to provide services and higher incomes to its members. USADF said funding will pay for warehouse construction, employee training, oil palm seedlings, and a new truck. "Since Panta's ability to transport its product is restricted by poor roadways, funding will also support local roadway rehabilitation and maintenance thus allowing freer and more efficient movement of the harvested and processed goods," added USADF.
On the other hand, Pulukpeh's grant focuses on acquiring new milling and transportation equipment, recruiting managers, and establishing a revolving credit fund to provide working capital to purchase farm products. The four-year, $177,200 grant will improve revenues for members, generating funds for healthcare and education for families of the employees, for the group located in nearby Suacoco District, Bong County.
In emphasising need to invest in poor so that they may climb the ladder of progress, Liberian Ambassador to United States, Charles A. Minor stated, "It is heart lifting to see what we are doing here today with the signing of these two grants."
A total of 525 members will directly benefit from improvements made to their plantations and cooperatives, with countless others to indirectly benefit from these changes. The grants were purposely designed to sustain local villages and improve living conditions of each resident.
USADF currently operates in 18 African nations. Over the past 25 years, USADF has directly funded nearly 1,100 projects representing in excess of $150 million in support of African enterprises and local communities.
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