LIBERIA

Liberia Quick Facts

  • A settlement of freed slaves from the US that began in 1822, with the republic established in 1847

  • Geography: 111,369 sq km with 13.5% accounting for water

  • Climate: tropical;hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers

  • Terrain: mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast

  • Economy Overview: low-income country that relies heavily on foreign assistance and remittances from diaspora

  • GDP-composition, by sector of origin: agriculture - 34%, industry - 13.8%, services - 52.2%

  • Population: 5,073,296 (2020 estimate)

Agriculture is the primary livelihood or more than 60 percent of Liberia's population and provides sustenance for many households engaging in cassava, rubber, rice, oil palm, cocoa, or sugarcane production. Poorly integrated, the sector lacks basic infrastructure such as machines, farming equipment/tools, farm-to-market roads, fertilizers and pesticides, and food storage capacity.

Farming Sector

The farming sector in LIberia is characterized by limited use of modern inputs. Approximately 4 percent of the planted area is irrigated while 5 and 2 percent, respectively, is fertilized and pesticided. The average amount of chemical fertilizer used per hectare is less than 5 kilograms. At the national level, less than 5 percent of farming households have access to extension services.

Liberia tends to increase agricultural productivity and promote commercialization of smallholder farmers by fostering productive linkages between the farmers-including women, youth, small farmer groups (SFGs) and smallholder cooperative associations (SCAs)-and private agribusiness firms in the rice, cassava, maize, oil palm, and rice value chains.

Praxis Africa Efforts

Liberia Praxis Africa will lead the delivery of services related to mechanization, improved inputs and input practices, irrigation, post-harvest handling and storage. The lessons of mechanization programs in other African countries is that they are more likely to be successful when adequate information is available about proposed operational areas (soil conditions, landscape, climate, major crops, farming style, market accessibility, etc.). 

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Delore Zimmerman

delore@praxissg.com