The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed 11 partnership agreements valued at US$7.8 million with 11 Liberian agriculture companies.
The initiative is part of the USAID Agribusiness Incubator and Development activity, a five-year, US$20 million program aimed at enhancing the commercial agricultural sector in Liberia.
The investment, accordingly leverages a total of $13.3 million in private capital from the recipient companies.
USAID Liberia Deputy Mission Director, Rory Donohoe, spoke at the signing ceremony and commended USAID for recognizing the potential of Liberia’s private sector.
He emphasized the US Government’s commitment to investing in local businesses and collaborating with Liberian enterprises to achieve equitable economic growth.
Donohoe urged the Government of Liberia to address constraints hindering agricultural productivity, such as inadequate infrastructure, lack of affordable utilities, and weak export standards.
He stressed that creating an enabling environment would attract further investments and facilitate the private sector’s contribution to addressing these challenges. In addition to the co-investment grants, USAID is implementing a business incubation program, which provides relevant skills and support to start-ups and small agribusinesses.
This program is being deployed across all 15 counties in Liberia through three local incubator service providers. Goretti Itoka, Chief Executive Officer of AgroRetti Inc, representing the recipient agribusinesses, expressed gratitude to the US Government for the opportunity presented. She acknowledged the rigorous six-month process of USAID’s due diligence and said that the allocated resources would be utilized effectively.
Itoka urged other agribusinesses to seize similar opportunities as the US Government expands its partnerships with local companies. Golden Mahove, the Senior Technical Director of the Africa Trade and Investment Program, which is implanting the Agribusiness Incubator and Development activity on behalf of USAID, announced that these grants represent the first cohort of recipients.
Furthermore, the program received 148 new applications, which are currently under review, emphasizing USAID Liberia’s commitment to providing feedback to all applicants. The grants will be milestone-based and closely monitored during the execution phase.
This partnership between USAID and Liberian agriculture companies marks a significant step in strengthening the commercial agricultural sector in Liberia. USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results.
The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program is designed to bolster USAID’s ability to boost trade and investment to, from, and within the African continent. The continent-wide program is USAID’s flagship effort under the Prosper Africa initiative.
The program allows the U.S. Government to work closely with the private sector to shape activities that unlock business opportunities, particularly those that drive trade and investment into and out of African markets
The investment and support provided aim to foster growth, expansion, and the creation of new domestic and international markets for Liberian agribusinesses.