Agriculture is one of the priorities of President Koroma ( Third from left )
FREETOWN, January 20, 2017 — Represententatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFF), UKAid (also known locally as DFID) and the World Bank gathered today at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown to officially launch the Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP). This $55 million,five-year programme will improve the livesof 50,000 people, of which 40 percent are women and youth farmers.
The Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project is a five-year programme that seeks to promote agricultural productivity through improved access to markets and finance.
The project will build links between smallholder farmers and selected agribusiness firms and other firms who buy from small holders in Sierra Leone. SCADeP’s interventions will improve agricultural productivity and access to markets for small holders that produce rice, cocoa, palm oil and poultry. The project will also fund the rehabilitation of over 500 km of feeder roads in selected areas of the country with high potential for agricultural production, processing and marketing.
Smallholder farmers are the drivers of many economies and can therefore play an important role in livelihoods creation and household food security amongst the rural poor. This project will directly benefit women smallholder farmers. In addition, roads will provide better access to women for maternal healthcare, and improve girls’ access to schools and clinics.
“The SCADeP project will create jobs for our workforce across the agriculture supply chain, and increase agricultural production and productivity of targeted crops and livestock,”said Prof. Monty Jones, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security. “This is in line with the Presidential Recovery Priorities and contributing to the GDP.”
The launch is part of a wider support mission in which a joint World Bank and DFID team are visiting Sierra Leone from January 18 – 27, 2017 to monitor project implementation.The main objective of the support mission is to review the project implementation plans and appraise the Government and key stakeholders on the eligible project activities and the implementation arrangements. The team will also visit selected potential agribusinesses and Farmer-Based Organizations (FBOs) in the provinces.
“The World Bank will focus its interventions towards helping the agricultural sector recover quickly from the effects of the Ebola epidemic and contribute towards higher medium- to long-term agricultural growth required to reduce extreme levels of poverty among smallholder farmers and promote shared growth,” said Parminder Brar, World Bank Country Manager Sierra Leone. “The project is key in contributing towards Sierra Leone’s delivery initiative, for which the Bank is contributing US$40 million.The project will support the private sector to modernize the sector through improved access to finance, seeds, fertilizers, markets, and development of agribusinesses.”
Investing in developing and maintaining good quality feeder roads is crucial to boost Sierra Leone’s economic growth and reduce poverty. It will enable goods and people to move faster and more cheaply throughout the country thus increasing competitiveness; it connects businesses to suppliers and markets, so that smallholder farmers can sell their products and earn an increased income.
“I am delighted the UK is contributing £10.5 million to this valuable project. It is estimated that our investments in feeder road construction will reduce local travel time by 20%. The ability of farmers to grow productively and get their goods to market is vital to ensure food security and for Sierra Leone’s economic development,” saidGuy Warrington, the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone.
For more information please contact: World Bank Sierra Leone Office: Moses A. Kargbo, +232 76-345930, SCADeP Office: Abraham Karl Samura, +232 78 955 166