Despite considerable improvements in the Ivorian refugee situation in Liberia, thousands of refugees still remain and rely on Liberian host-communities for food security. FAO is providing the right inputs and extension support to help farming families in refugee hosting areas increase food production and reduce their dependency on external assistance, while also preventing them from doing any harm to their livelihoods, like borrowing or consuming seed stocks.
Approximately 64 percent of Liberians live below the absolute poverty line. This means that the food security situation for refugees remaining in the country is already precarious. FAO Liberia is helping host communities and food-insecure refugees boost agricultural production in order to replenish food stocks, generate household income and combat high food prices. To achieve this, farmers – including women who make up a majority of Liberia’s smallholder producers and agricultural labour force – are being provided with rice and vegetable seed, tuber cuttings, fertilizer, tools and pest management supplies, and learning about new technologies, improved farming practices and agro-entrepreneurship.
Improving household diets
For vulnerable farming families whose production is hampered by poor road infrastructure and for land-constrained refugees, home gardening can serve as a way not only to meet household food needs, but also to improve household diets. FAO Liberia is strengthening home gardening by providing farmers with input and extension support for vegetable, legume and cassava production.
Moving from emergency to recovery
As responses in Liberia are moving from emergency to recovery, FAO is working with the Government and other key partners to make sure this transition is smooth. Information sharing systems and various food security and needs assessments allow for more effective coordinated responses. This enables future responses to prevent overlaps and gaps, and to be more in line with what farmers need most.