Rice is Liberia’s number one staple food. In an effort to attain self-sufficiency in rice production, the Government of Liberia (GOL) developed in 2012 the Liberia National Rice Development Strategy (LNRDS) to focus and guide local rice production for the primary purpose of actualizing this goal by 2018. The strategy is to ensure that local rice production is up-scaled by two-folds from cultivating on both the upland and lowland with extra efforts to expanding the area under lowlands. Over the years, collaboration among the GOL, farming communities and development partners has resulted in the rehabilitation and development of lowlands in several parts of Liberia. It is worth noting that despite the collaboration among these stakeholders in the Sector, interventions have not been the same in approaches, services and thus outcomes.
Against this background, the GOL and its development partners, including the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Wortd Food Programme, convened a technical Symposium on the Rehabilitation and Development of Integrated Lowland Rice Farming in Liberia. It was held from 23-24 January 2014 to review and optimize best practices. Its principal aim was to stimulate reflections and discussions on the promotion of lowland farming in the Country, and also to identify consensual guidelines and avenues for future rehabilitation and development of lowlands in Liberia. As a result, a comprehensive Symposium Report and a Road Map to support and strengthen the LNRDS were elaborated.
In furtherance of a key Symposium recommendation to assure the inclusion of all political levels (i.e. National, Counties, Districts, etc.), in the Road Map development process that started at the national level with the Symposium held at CARI, the Lofa County Workshop was convened on 8 – 10 April 2015. Its main objectives are to generally share and discuss the Road Map, to increase farmers’ knowledge base on integrated lowland rice farming through information and awareness; and to develop an Action Plan with a view to increase lowland rice production and productivity in Lofa County.
A Technical Manual for Irrigable Lowland Development in Liberia was also prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture. The objective of this manual is to condense the existing knowledge and the expertise gained during actual field work period and to make it available to more actors in the field.
A video on lowland rice farming in Liberia was also released.
Read the Rehabilitation and Development of Integrated Lowland Rice Farming in Liberia Road Map to 2023 (31 p.): http://inter-reseaux.org/IMG/pdf/a-road_map_2023_lowland.pdf
Read the Lofa County Action Plan 2015-2020 (23 p.): http://inter-reseaux.org/IMG/pdf/b-action_plan_lofa_county_2015-2020_lowland.pdf
Read the technical manual (23 p.): http://inter-reseaux.org/IMG/pdf/c-technical_manual_lowland.pdf
Wath the video « Moving from upland to lowland rice farming in Liberia » (15′):