• July 26, 2023

Reducing Food Insecurity, Improve Nutrition in Sierra Leone, FAO Supports 1500 Vegetable Producers

Reducing Food Insecurity, Improve Nutrition in Sierra Leone, FAO Supports 1500 Vegetable Producers
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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Sierra Leone, with funding from the Irish government supported 1,500 vegetable producers, mostly women and youths, from 5 districts with farming tools and Seeds.

The project, entitled, building resilient communities through climate smart and market driven production for improved food and nutrition security in Sierra Leone seeks to complement Government’s efforts in reducing food insecurity and improve nutrition, The project facilitated access to quality agricultural inputs such as improved variety of vegetable seeds and farm implements.

While presenting the vegetable production inputs to project beneficiaries in Bombali, Port Loko, Karene, Moyamba and Western Rural Districts, Lansana Vandi the mission lead representing FAO said, ending hunger and malnutrition remains a critical challenge in Sierra Leone, a fragile economic state with persistent food crises that have worsen in the past years. He noted that “The extreme climate vulnerability, conflicts between livestock and crop farmers, rising inflation affecting food and fuel prices as well agricultural inputs prices have all contributed to food insecurity in Sierra Leone,’’.  He admonished the project beneficiaries to make the best out of this opportunity given to them by ensuring that they use the tools and seeds for the purpose for which they are intended for. He expressed the desire of FAO to extend the supporting to other vegetable farmers especially women and youths.

Deputy Director of Extension of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Haroun Rashid Kamara, remarked that the government of Sierra Leone is committed to making Sierra Leone a food secured state and that the partnership between FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security received many commendations from project beneficiaries and implementing partners. “FAO is a worthy Partner, and we must all ensure their initiative to support vegetable producers in Sierra Leone through the climate smart and market driven production for improved food and nutrition security become a success story.’’ Haroun Rashid Kamara said.  He urged beneficiaries to claim ownership of the project as they stand to benefit more.

Mr. Abdulai Kamara, Project Manager, Sierra Leone Network of the Right to Food – SILNoRF during the distribution ceremony at Makump America, Pakimasabon chiefdom Bombali District said SILNoRF have partnered with many organizations, but FAO’s support is unique. He said the FAO Representation always manifests its commitment in reducing food insecurity and improved nutrition in Sierra Leone through the funding and implementation of impactful projects in its area of operations. He noted that “Agriculture is now the flagship program of the Government of Sierra Leone, we will soon begin to see the implementation of more agricultural project than never before.’’

Team Lead, sustainable livelihood at Cotton Tree Foundation Sierra Leone Mr. Alimamy Bangura, in his remarks said in order for us to attain food sufficiency, we must grow what we eat and eat what we grow. He urged beneficiaries especially women farmers to grab this opportunity and make the best of it.

FAO in Sierra Leone received funding from the Irish Government to respond to emergency food and nutrition security needs of most affected areas in Bombali, Karene, Port Loko, Moyamba and Western Rural districts in Sierra Leone. About 1,500 (of which 70% are women and youths) vegetable farmers, 300 from each district are selected and organized into farmers-based organization and supported by the project.

Madam Mariama Seray-Kondeh, vegetable producer and one of the project beneficiaries in Moyamba District said, she has been engaged in vegetable production for over 10 years. “Agriculture/vegetable production is my major source of livelihood and sustenance. On behalf of women famers in Moyamba District, I want to assure the FAO and its partners that we won’t disappoint them.’’  She remarked that she has benefitted a lot from the trade. She admonished her fellow farmers to make the best of this opportunity given to them.

Madam Sarah Kamara, a vegetable farmer in Newton, Western Rural District expressed delight and gratitude to FAO and partners for the kind gesture in supporting women farmers in Newton. “With the training I’ve acquired, and the seeds and farming implements received; I can now go back to my farm and plant my seeds to enable me sustain my family.” Madam Sarah Kamara said. All Beneficiaries in Bombali, Karene and Port Loko expressed similar sentiment.

Apart from the 1,500 farmers who are direct beneficiaries of the project through inputs, trainings, and market linkages, indirectly, 11, 445 people will benefit from the project.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the Directorate of Food and Nutrition at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation acted as key government counterparts.

By Mohamed Lamrana Jalloh, Communications Specialist @ FAO in Sierra Leone Mohamed.Jalloh@fao.org +23279244233

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