BRAC USA President & CEO reviews her recent trip to Liberia

May 23, 2011
by

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On a recent trip to Libera, Susan Davis, President & CEO of BRAC USA, had the opportunity to meet members of BRAC Liberia’s Agriculture Program.

On a recent trip to Libera, Susan Davis, President & CEO of BRAC USA, had the opportunity to meet members of BRAC Liberia’s Agriculture Program.

I was very impressed to meet Cecelia Doe, certainly one of the most articulate and dynamic women in Liberia. As a spokesperson for the Cotton Tree Christian Women Association,Cecilia explained to me that the Association was founded in 2006 and currently has 100 members. With the help of BRAC, these women are now successfully cultivating NERICA 14, a new rice variety. Despite their current success, the road to achieving it was not easy. According to Cecilia, the Association petitioned Firestone for over two years in order to obtain the rights to use the land where the rice is now being cultivated.

The women will share 75% of the harvest among members in accordance with their contribution of time and labor. The remaining 25% will go to the Association. They were able to get a power tiller from IOM and are visited several times a week by BRAC’s agriculture staff. Cecilia requested additional help to clear the rest of the land in time to plant it. This type of investment unlocks future possibilities for much larger production and profit for these women.

This work is supported by the Omidyar Network, Soros Economic Development Fund and Humanity United. Representatives from these investors also visited BRAC’s new agriculture training center and seed multiplication farm. The staff gave us a tour of this impressive facility created over the last year. As I told a group of government officials and other stakeholders later that night, transforming fallow land into productive land not only creates jobs but also a ripple effect of hope and prosperity in the surrounding communities. Now two nearby schools have started their own “kitchen gardens” and nurseries to teach, learn and earn as well as improve nutrition.

BRAC is now seeking to mobilize more support to expand its work in agriculture. There is so much idle land. If only matched with money, know-how and organization, people can improve their situations.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of