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Graziano da Silva meets with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Agriculture, Food Security & Forestry

FAO Director General and Sesay discuss the success of the Smallholder Commercialization Programme
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FAO Director-General and Sierra Leone’s Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Forestry.

19 February 2014, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva met Sierra Leone’s Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Forestry, Joseph Sam Sesay at FAO headquarters today.

The Minister thanked Graziano da Silva for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) support and for the related national agriculture investment plan, which once finalized allowed the country to raise 50 million dollars from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GASFP).

Graziano da Silva and Minister Sesay discussed the excellent results obtained from the Smallholder Commercialization Programme (SCP), a five year flagship programme to transform agriculture from subsistence to a commercial endeavour approved by the government of Sierra Leone in 2008 as a response to global food price volatility.

The Minister lauded FAO’s support in its formulation and implementation, and informed the FAO head that the programme is entering a new phase in which they hope to continue close collaboration with the Organization.

One of the major objectives of the Smallholder Commercialization Programme is to intensify and diversify agricultural production. The main activity included under this objective is the training of farmers through Famer Field Schools, helping farmers organize themselves into Farmer Based Organizations and formation of Agri-Business Centers, which provide a number of services including input supply, processing and linking to markets.