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LIBERIA: FAO And Japanese Embassy Sign An Agreement On Fisheries/Agriculture

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The Director-General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority NaFAA has expressed appreciation for the signing of the funding agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, and the Japanese Embassy in Liberia.  FAO shall implement the project in partnership with the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, NaFAA, and the Ministry of Agriculture, MOA.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Mesurado Pier Monday, October 18, 2021, Hon Emma Glassco termed the signing ceremony as a dream come through and at the same time thanked the Japanese government and people for their continuous support to the fisheries and Agriculture sectors. The project is targeting ten counties including the nine coastal counties and one inland county namely Bong.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Japanese Embassy signed the funding agreement which is in the tune of US$3, 564 000 and is geared towards the full implementation of a three-year project known as, Strengthening Capacities in the Fisheries and Rice Cultivation Sectors for Food Security and Nutrition Improvement.

The project which is designed to address challenges of less marine production is partly due to the fact that fishermen, fisher mongers, and processors are not fully equipped to stay safe and healthy at sea and undue post-catch losses which remain unfulfilled in all nine coastal counties.

The project will address among other things quadripartite challenges confronting fisheries, through a well-coordinated, stakeholder-driven approach. Strategically also, the project shall support improvement in local rice production, whilst promoting the integration of agri-aquaculture production in rice fields.

The project is expected to impact the country by helping reduce poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, and livelihoods vulnerability among women and men of both young and middle ages. As an outcome, it will directly ensure that 3,000 fisher folks, rice farmers, fish farmers, and fishmongers, and processors have resilient livelihoods and income, food, and nutrition security amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local communities in ten counties will be impacted, with value chain actors and producers empowered in a climate-smart and environmentally-friendly manner, through the four outputs: 1: Enhanced small-scale fisheries at the sea; 2: Female fish processors livelihoods improved; 3: Integrated agri-aquaculture promoted in rice fields; and 4: Capacity developed to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The project has two specific objectives and one overall project outcome, to reduce poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, and livelihoods vulnerability among women and men of both young and middle-aged.  Objective one: is to strengthen the small-scale fisheries sector through the creation of employment, the diversification of income and the improvement of methods and safety of fisher folks, the capacity of fishmongers, and curtailing of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Objective two: is to promote an inimitable method of integrating rice and fish farming using climate-smart agricultural practices. In a COVID-ravaging era, the project will contribute to income diversification, resilience building, and sustainable livelihoods. The project seeks to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular to Goals 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 14.

Commenting before the signing ceremony FAO Representative, Madam Mariatou Njie, said the project aims to achieve its objectives and outcome through four project outputs. The four outputs include: Enhanced small-scale fisheries in the sea, Female fish processors livelihoods improved, Integrated agri-aquaculture promoted in rice fields and Capacity developed to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

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