The LSU AgCenter will receive a five-year grant totaling about $3.4 million to help implement a Food and Enterprise Development Program for Liberia, West Africa, Lakshman Velupillai, head of the LSU AgCenter’s International Programs, said in a news release.

The LSU AgCenter will partner with Development Alternatives Inc., which was awarded the overall $20 million grant for the project, through the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Liberia.

Velupillai said the LSU AgCenter’s role in the program will focus on four of Liberia’s counties in areas including agricultural extension support, with particular focus on rice, and a collaboration with the International Fertilizer Development Center to improve farmers’ access to fertilizer, improved seeds and other help.

“This project marks the second time the LSU AgCenter has provided support to the people of Liberia,” Velupillai said. “Our direct involvement in support of Liberia began in 1981 when it received a USAID award to implement the Liberia Agricultural Research and Extension Project.”

That program involved support to the Liberian Central Agricultural Research Institute for research on crops and livestock applicable to Liberian conditions.