Urban agriculture for food security in Liberia

Since 2009, RUAF collaborated with Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in the Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) projects, funded by EU Liberia, until 2013 in partnership with CARE-Liberia, and from 2013-2015 with Action Contre la Faim (ACF) in the UPANI project, in cooperation with local authorities, NGOs and universities.. In 2015 this activity came to an end, and was evaluated very positive.

RUAF facilitated a process of multi-stakeholder engagement, awareness raising, information gathering, and policy development in 3 cities of Liberia: Greater Monrovia, Gbarnga and Tubmanburg, and providing related capacity development for local staff of WHH and ACF and the various local stakeholders involved in the planning process.  A Policy Narrative was developed and a Multi Stakeholder Forum (MSF)  is now active in the three cities, supported by the city authorities and MoA, and a City Strategic Agenda on UPA has been accepted for Tubmanburg and Greater Monrovia. In 2015 UPA has also been included in the draft National Urban Policy (developed by Ministry of Internal Affairs, supported by Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) and UN-Habitat).  

In the MSF of Greater Monrovia, on average 50 people attended, representing over 25 institutions (authorities of city, township and Ministries, as well as other public agencies like EPA and Lands Commission, NGOs, University of Liberia, Farmers organisations, and International Organisations, as well as representatives of the Press). these meetings are well visited, and there always is a lively discussion. The development of the National Urban Planning system will assure continuation of this.

Under UPANI, RUAF also coordinated work on Food Safety and on UPA as part of Urban Land Use Mapping. The national agency for GIS, LISGIS supported MCC and other key institutions in gathering information, sharing data and data bases, and manipulate data as part of urban land use planning.

Duration: WHH 2 projects, each 3 years; one with CARE  and one with ACF
Funding: European Union and project partners (25%)

Project partners: WeltHungerHilfe (coordination 2 projects, Germany), CARE-NL (coordination 1 project, the Netherlands), ACF-Liberia, RUAF Foundation (the Netherlands; partner in all projects), local authorities of Monrovia, Gbarnga and Tubmanburg, Human Development Fund (Liberia), University of Liberia, and key stakeholders in Multi-stakeholder Platforms of Greater Monrovia, Tubmanburg and Gbarnga.

Activities implemented by the RUAF Foundation:

The RUAF Foundation facilitated a process of Multi-Stakeholder Action Planning and Policies Formulation (MPAP) in 3 cities of Liberia (Monrovia, Gbarnga and Tubmanburg) including the following activities:

  • Training staff of WHH, CARE, ACF and local partners in urban and periurban agriculture and the MPAP approach and tools;
  • Establishing a multi-stakeholder forum in each of the three cities involving national and local authorities, NGOs, urban farmer groups, university departments, and other stakeholders in urban and periurban agriculture;
  • Guiding a situation analysis regarding urban and periurban agriculture in each of the 3 cities (presence, locations, opportunities, constraints); 
  • Designing and implementing a study on food safety in Monrovia and Tubmansburg;
  • Designing and establishing a GIS-based land use mapping system in Monrovia and Tubmansburg;  
  • Guiding the development of a Strategic Agenda on Urban Agriculture and Food security in each of the 3 cities;
  • Facilitating policy uptake.

Results obtained

The external evaluation confirmed the following project results:

  • The capacity of local institutions to organize and engage in a multi-stakeholder planning process has been enhanced.
  • Urban agriculture has officially been recognized as an important strategy for food security by the Government (Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Internal Affairs).
  • The townships and county authorities participating in the project adopted the City Strategic Agenda on Urban -Agriculture developed by the multi-stakeholder platform in their city.
  • The implementation of development projects in the field of intra- and periurban agriculture have increased food security and income of poor urban households.
  • The projects created a bridge between the EU Rehabilitation programme and the EU Development programme in Liberia