The News LIB, 07/23/2015 By N. Dweh Nimley
Dr. Gideon Onumah, an Agricultural Economist and Rural Finance Specialist of the Natural Resources Institute is expected to present results of a one-month research study he conducted on the applicability and benefits of the use of Warehouse Receipt Systems in Liberia’s agricultural sector.
Dr. Onumah was contracted by GROW to conduct a Market Systems Assessment of Warehouse Receipts Systems in Liberia from June 26 – July 25, 2015.
He has visited stakeholders in Monrovia and rural Liberia to research pertinent information. He met with stakeholders at the Ministry of Agriculture, the Liberia Produce Marketing Association, the Cooperative Development Agency, banks, micro-financing institutions and cooperatives in Nimba and Lofa Counties.
Dr. Onumah will present his findings on regulatory and policy issues, gaps and the implications of existing laws, potential sources of finance and optimum locations for the establishment of Warehouse Receipt Systems in Liberia.
The analysis will facilitate the identification and development of an Implementation Plan that will identify GROW’s specific interventions in this area. It’s estimated that a GROW-sponsored pilot Warehouse Receipt Systems will be started in key commodity producing areas for both cocoa and rubber in Nimba or Lofa toward the end of 2015.
His research has identified the positive impacts of introducing a Warehouse Receipt program in Liberia and how this system can improve the efficiency of commodity trading and access to inventory backed financing for small farmers and cooperatives.
Warehouse Receipt Systems assist to modernize and enhance the efficiency of agricultural marketing systems, and enable farmers to store commodities. This allows them to sell commodities when the price is attractive, rather than be forced to act as “price takers” right after harvest. GROW works in the cocoa, oil palm, rubber, vegetable and fruits and aquaculture sectors to improve and strengthen value chains.
GROW is a private sector development initiative operating in Liberia to promote pro-poor economic growth and stability through partnerships with Government and private companies. The programme is a 5-year Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)-funded market development initiative that employs the ‘Making Markets Work for the Poor’ (M4P) approaches.
In addition to promoting the increased profitability of smallholder farm operations, the programme seeks to contribute to sustainable growth and stability, with a particular emphasis on women and youth and the environment.