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Summary of SRI Progress in Liberia

SRI was introduced to Liberia in late 2012 through Robert Bimba, national coordinator for the Farmer Union Network (FUN) of Liberia and president of the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP), a national NGO specialized in both urban and rural areas in Liberia. Bimba learned about SRI while participating in 13-country regional workshop that was organized during July 2012 by CNS-Riz and SRI-Rice in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Later that year, encouraging initial trials with his family and a few farmers in Zubah Town, Paynesville, Monrovia, led to extended activities in CHAP (see video). When the national World Bank-sponsored West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) SRI program was approved in late 2013, CHAP was able to organize the first training of trainers in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture with the support from national WAAPP coordinator Cyrus Saygbe. The workshop, which began on December 17, 2013, brought together 84 participants from different parts of Liberia, as well participants from Sierra Leone and Mali. A subsequent Agriculture Coordination Committee meeting about SRI held in early 2014 at the Ministry of Agriculture in Gardnerville, Monrovia, was attended by 48 people from the government, multi-lateral and bilateral partnerships, donors, NGOs, farmer organizations and the private sector. The "Improving and Scaling up the System of Rice Intensification in West Africa" (SRI-WAAPP) formally began in January 2014 with CHAP's Robert Bimba as the SRI-WAAPP National Facilitator for Liberia. A list of the numerous regional workshops and activities within Liberia between 2014 and 2016 are listed on SRI-WAAPP project website.

During May 2014, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf visited CHAP for the rice harvest. The following month she arranged for a group of 100 young people to work with Chap to increase their interest in agriculture, help out CHAP's SRI efforts, and to empower youth to earn incomes through the president's initiative. In 2014, CHAP became the lead organization carrying out an SRI pilot project for the Ministry of Agriculture and WAAPP Liberia, which is part of a regional West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program. On Feb. 12-14, 2015, CHAP hosted a National Workshop on the System of Rice Intensification in Monrovia. During June 2016, Robert Bimba gave a presentation at Cornell University on CHAP's SRI work in Liberia. SRI-WAAPP training sites in Liberia as of 2016 are shown in the map below. During late 2016, CHAP began implementing a two-year project to promote SRI, introduce labor-saving equipment, and build capacity of value chain entrepreneurs. The project, which involves 1,800 lowland rice farmers in five counties (Grand Bassa, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, and Montserrado), is financed by the Japanese and Liberian governments through the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD). During April 2019 CHAP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), launched the “Love Liberian Rice Campaign” during April 2019 with the aim of improving food security in the country through rice production, processing and marketing. The initiative aims to solicit a volunteer contribution of US$1 from each individual, mainly those that are engaged into agriculture activities, with proceeds generated from the campaign being used to purchase farming implements to empower smallholder farmers. Read more about CHAP's progress with SRI on their organizational website. In October 2021, the Adaptation Fund approved the SRI-based “Scaling up Climate Resilient Rice Production in West Africa” (RICOWAS) project which includes Liberia and 12 other countries in the region. In January 2022, CHAP received a UNDP grant of US$25,000 to produce climate smart agriculture seed rice in Montserrado and Lofa counties using SRI methods. During July 2022, CHAP and Alliance des Eglises et Missions Evangeliques de Guinea (AEMEG) worked together to start a SRI program (FEED la Guinea), beginning with 2 hectares and training 100 farmers in Kalalo. During 2023, the UN Cimate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN), through its network partners CARES Group Limited and INTEGRATION environment & energy GmbH, introduced a Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) technology as part of a SRI pilot in the county of Bong, using the lessons learnt to formulate an enabling environment roadmap and a monitoring an evaluation framework for nationwide roll-out.

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