The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has purchased 100bags making a total  of 5000kg (5 MT) of rice grown in Liberia from the local rice processor, Fabrar Liberia,

This was done as a MoCI’s initiative to support the Government of Liberia (GoL) in requiring GoL entities to set aside at least 25% of all public procurement opportunities for Liberian businesses.

The Small Business Empowerment Act would provide an economical oppurtunity to the local farmers and rice processor of the country.Every year the GoL purchases a large quantities of rice for government employees, school feeding programs, and various humanitarian assistance projects amounting to over 70,000 bags annually (approximately 3,500 MT) due to lack of domestic supply.

The rice grown by Lofa County farmers participating in  USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program and processed by Fabrar Liberia,  Liberian local rice mill is purchased by the GoL.

Pewee Reed, Director of MoCI’s Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Division explained that “”With this initial purchase, MoCI hopes to kick start the process and encourage other ministries to follow suit. MoCI is committed to supporting local farmers and expects to purchase more locally grown rice to fulfill our rice requirement in the future,”

In May2014, the Faber Liberia has purchased 3260 bags which is a total of 163 MT from 550 farmers in the Lofa County. The Faber Liberia has purchased this rice at a cost of $63,500USD.The Faber Liberia has target the consumers in  Monrovia as well as large scale rice contracts in the private sector.

Also  USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program had helping farmers since 2012 in terms of  improved seeds, tools and inputs to technical support. USAID FED also provides strategic assistance in land preparation, such as facilitating access to power tillers and building permanent irrigation structures on lowland fields.

USAID-FED has supported  the Faber Liberia in renovation of its warehouse in Kakata,implementation of Liberia’s first automated rice milling line, electric power generator which runs on non-edible palm oil instead of gasoline to ensure that it produces enough rice to avoid supply insufficiency.

“The rice sector is improving in production and organization, and our capacity to mill rice is higher than it’s ever been in Liberia’s history. While USAID FED increases the capacity of farmers, the government and the private sector need to unite under a moral obligation to buy local rice,” says the CEO of Fabrar Liberia, Fabio Lavelanet.

About Fabrar Liberia

 Fabrar Liberia is a fully incorporated Liberian owned and run agriculture holding firm created in 2009 to tackle food insecurity in Liberia by improving the livelihoods of farmers and providing them with increased access to domestic and international food markets. Through private equity and equity financing from West Africa Venture Fund, Fabrar Liberia secured funding worth $500,000 USD in 2013 to expand the milling site in Kakata to a capacity of 30 MT of rice per day. To reach full capacity, Fabrar has a strategy to expand and nurture its network of paddy-rice suppliers. This all-encompassing approach to serving the rice market in Liberia is designed to create prosperous Liberian food producers and smallholder farmers that, together, can meet the consumer’s demand for quality rice.