On 16-20 May 2016, PARM conducted its first setting-up mission in Liberia, to get the official commitment of the Government of Liberia and to develop a road map to initiate the discussion on the integration of agricultural risk management (ARM) into national rural and agricultural strategic development policies, plans and budget.
The mission in Liberia of PARM represented the first step of the PARM process. The main objective of the mission was to present PARM to the Government of Liberia, and to describe the roles and responsibilities of the different actors along the process in order to ensure the integration of Agricultural Risk Management (ARM) analysis and tools into the national strategies and investments plans (NAIP…) developed by the Government.
For that purpose meetings were organized with the most relevant national authorities active on ARM (Min. of Agriculture, Finance, Environment, Planning, Commerce, Rural Development…), the CAADP focal point (The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme) and international and national stakeholders (Farmer Cooperatives) in order to identify eventual gaps of the existing analysis on agriculture risks following the holistic approach proposed by PARM.
Over the course of this mission, the Government of Liberia and the Ministry of Agriculture demonstrated a strong interest to investment in the agricultural sector following the Ebola outbreak. Moreover, in a context of limited resources, the Government recognized the need for an assessment of the major agricultural risks, so as to prioritize the most pressing risks for the livelihoods of farmers.
Meetings were organized with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Extension Services Director, the Farmer Union Network, the Cooperative Development Agency, the IMF, the Department of Planning of the Ministry of Agriculture, the FAO, the World Bank, the EU Delegation, USAID, BRAC, and with representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Information, Gender, Internal Affairs, Environment, and Youth and Sports. This enabled the PARM team to gain knowledge on the current situation in Liberia from a wide range of partners, and to raise awareness on the PARM process with the main stakeholders.
The PARM road-map, which was developed and discussed during the mission, will be formally validated in the coming weeks. This will allow for the start of the Risk Assessment Study, as well as for Capacity Development activities to begin. In addition, an ad-hoc information systems study will be undertaken in the country to identify the existing available and accessible information, and propose some recommendations to improve the information systems for agricultural risk management.