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Sierra Leona

Sierra Leona

Read more about FAO in emergencies and the Ebola outbreak in West AfricaSierra Leone has made notable progress since the end of its civil war in 2002, yet many people still live below the poverty line, and unemployment, especially among young people, is rife. Around 3.5 million Sierra Leoneans – roughly two-thirds of the country – rely on agriculture, but most just grow enough to feed their families.

The Smallholder Commercialization Programme (SCP) is a Government plan, supported by FAO, to help farmers grow more and varied crops and process and market more of what they produce, putting farmers – and the country – on a path to greater prosperity.

Schools without walls

FAO Sierra Leone continues to support farmer field schools, where farmers – many of them women widowed during the war or young people whose education was disrupted – learn improved cropping techniques and best practices as well as financial management, health and nutrition. These schools are helping re-establish trust within communities torn apart by war.

Creating opportunities

The setting up of agricultural business centres nationwide – places where farmers can buy seeds and fertilizers, rent labour-saving equipment and process, store and market what they harvest – is at the heart of the Government’s SCP. Local farmer-based organizations, many of which started out as farmer field schools, are being supported to run these centres on a cost-recovery basis. With new opportunities in farming, as well as in shop keeping and mechanization, the centres are set to kick-start local economies.

Farming as a viable business

By selling unprocessed paddy rice and fresh cassava tubers, farmers in Sierra Leone have been losing out on profits they could make from milled rice as well as gari (cassava meal) and fufu (boiled and pounded cassava) – popular local foods. FAO Sierra Leone is supporting the Government to equip the agricultural business centres with rice mills, cassava graters and drying floors so that farmers can boost the value and consumer appeal of their goods. Training in group governance and collective marketing, combined with better access to financial services and markets, will help farmers move beyond subsistence farming.

Early warning on food and nutrition security

Sierra Leone is vulnerable to floods, pest infestations and plant disease, which could reverse gains made since the end of the civil war. FAO is supporting the Government to build the capacity of local district councils to develop and put into use an early warning system for food and nutrition security.

 

More about the country

 - In addition to the health consequences in West Africa, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak has also led to various economic and social disruptions in affected ...read more
19/12/2014
 - FAO STRATEGY The most urgent priority of FAO and all UN partners is stopping the epidemic and ending the tragic loss of life. Immediate action must also ...read more
17/12/2014
 - STRATEGIC RESPONSE The Food Security and Nutrition Working Group – of which FAO supports the secretariat – recommends the following actions: (i) re-open key periodic markets under ...read more
17/12/2014
 - HIGHLIGHTS The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak resulted in a serious shock to the agriculture and food sectors in 2014. The epidemic started spreading when crops were ...read more
17/12/2014
 - The number of people facing food insecurity due to the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone could top one million by March 2015 ...read more
17/12/2014
 - El número de personas que sufren inseguridad alimentaria debido a la epidemia de ébola en Guinea, Liberia y Sierra Leona podría sobrepasar el millón para marzo ...read more
17/12/2014
 - Guinea, Liberia y Sierra Leone, los países más afectados por la epidemia del virus del Ébola, recibirán cada uno 500 000 dólares EEUU para ayudar a frenar el impacto potencialmente devastador ...read more
03/12/2014
 - In this interview, Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, talks about the Ebola epidemic’s threat to food security in West Africa and FAO’s ...read more
02/12/2014
 - In Senegal, where food insecurity and malnutrition rates are still high in some areas, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is working ...read more
01/12/2014
 - The preliminary results of recent impact assessments on food security of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – the three countries most affected by the ...read more
27/11/2014