Technical Assistance Services in Support of the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture
The U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) selected Tetra Tech to help with the USAID-funded Technical Assistance Services in Support of the Ministry of Agriculture (TASMOA) task order, under the Rural and Agricultural Incomes with a Sustainable Environment PLUS indefinite quantity contract. This project aimed to rebuild the capacity of the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) to lay the foundation for future projects, activities, and initiatives intended to support the agriculture sector—one of Liberia’s major contributor to employment and the economy.
Tetra Tech began by assessing the roles and responsibilities of the agriculture sector stakeholders and identifying the core functions of the MOA. Our team helped develop an institutional framework for MOA, which was touted by the Government of Liberia as a model for institutional reform, by conducting an in-depth capacity assessment of all MOA departments and the Central Agricultural Research Institute. We also helped the MOA develop a comprehensive agriculture sector strategy, consistent with Liberia’s broader macro-economic, sub-sector, and sector-specific policies.
On a daily basis, our experts engaged with the Liberian Minister of Agriculture and MOA staff regarding all aspects of project implementation. Tetra Tech also addressed technical needs in institutional decentralization and reform, financial management, change management, and the development of key value chains such as rice seed, which is a staple food in Liberia. Under TASMOA, we developed the national Food and Agriculture Policy and Strategy and Liberia Agriculture Sector Investment Plan, and supported the development of the National Seed Policy, the National Rice Development Strategy, and Cocoa Sub-sector Development Strategy to put a focus on the importance of rice seeds for the agricultural economy.
Tetra Tech employed training, coaching, and daily collaboration as means of transferring skills and productive work practices to help ensure sustained improvement in the MOA. Our team also established and assisted in recruiting staff for an internal reform committee to oversee the transformations in the MOA and Liberian agriculture sector.
We developed various MOA internal management manuals and training materials to cover areas such as human resources, communications, project coordination, operations, financial management and accounting, decentralization, and change management. We also established and developed operations manuals for the MOA-based Project Coordination Unit and Program Management Unit responsible for managing government initiatives and donor-funded projects in support of the agriculture sector.
Under TASMOA, Tetra Tech assisted MOA in applying for funding through the Global Agriculture Food Security Program Trust Fund and was successfully able to leverage $118 million from a range of bilateral and multilateral donors to support the implementation of the Agricultural Sector Investment Program. Program achievements included production and distribution of 644 metric tons of improved rice seeds to farmers, and establishment of the Rice Seed Chain Program and Rice Seed Program Management Plans, which are important steps to reduce Liberia’s dependency on rice imports.