Globally, over 7 billion metric tons of cassava based products are traded per year internationally for an estimated value of over 1 billion US dollars. More than 500 million farmers, countless processors and traders around the world live on the cassava industry. Additionally, Cassava can be processed into an array of over 150 products within the following categories: animal feed, starch, noodles, flour, sweeteners, organic acids and ethanol.
In addition, cassava leaves are an important vegetable, although harvesting of leaves adversely affects tuber yield (this effect is reduced during the raining season). Crop area is around 0. 5 ha and yields are estimated to be between 6 to 10mt/ha on upland farms. Cassava is grown on fl at land and is usually intercropped with maize and sometimes sweet potatoes and peppers. Over 80 million tons of cassava is consumed every year in ECOWAS. This market is growing by 4% every year. Of this Liberia accounted for 520,000 tons. The average Liberian consumes 121 kg per year —meaning that there is scope for the market to expand in size by five times: Ghanaians and Sierra Leoneans consume 600 kg per year. Sources For Main Inputs
There are two farm input suppliers in Liberia (Wienco and Green Farm) leaving space for more. Most smallholder cocoa
farmers do not use agro inputs except for polythene bags and spades. For those seeking to invest in an anchor farm, land is accessible either by purchasing private estates — the Ministry of Foreign Aff airs has titles on most rural estates — or by securing access to community land through a community-engagement process led by the Land Commission. Plots of less than 10,000 hectares are easily accessible through the due process. NIC can facilitate this process.
- Accessing Electricity
High quality cocoa agriculture and its adequate postharvest handling do not require electricity. Access to electricity in the cocoa belt is available from the cross-country electrification program, under which electricity is purchased from Cote D’Ivoire. Liberia will re-instate reliable on-grid electricity by 2017 and bring the cost down to 25 US$ cents per kilo watt
hour through the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee power station and the construction of Heavy Fuel Oil generation capacity. Three mini-hydro plants in Lofa and Bong counties and a biomass plant in Lofa are also planned.
- Getting Your Inputs In And Your Outputs Out
Liberia also has major sea ports in Buchanan, Greenville, and Harper that can be used for the import of inputs and export of oil palm.
Liberia has completed the pavement of the main highway from Liberia to Ganta up to the Guinean border, thus linking the main horticulture areas in Lofa, Bong and Nimba to the Freeport of Monrovia, the Port of Bassa, and the Monrovia- Bomi Highway that links to the border of Sierra Leone. Travel time from Ganta to Monrovia is about 3 hours.