Coopération Sud-Sud et coopération triangulaire

South-South Cooperation: Joint Mission between FAO, Sierra Leone and Viet Nam to boost rice value chains

06/03/2023 - 

06 March 2023, Sierra Leone - A delegation of Vietnamese experts recently visited Sierra Leone from 15 to 25 February 2023, as part of a South-South Cooperation (SSC) project. The joint mission, organized within the framework of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation between FAO, Sierra Leone and Viet Nam, aimed at formulating a proposal for a cooperation program to address Sierra Leone's rice value chain needs.

The Vietnamese delegation composed by Dr. Pham Ngoc Mau, Deputy Director General (DDG) of the International Cooperation Department of Viet Nam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and Dr. Dao The Anh, Vice President of the Viet Nam Academy for Agriculture Sciences, MARD, brought their expertise in areas critical to the partnership. The joint mission held discussions with stakeholders and conducted field visits to identify the most appropriate cooperation actions for the Sierra Leonean context.

The mission was warmly received by His Excellency Abu Bakarr Karim, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, who appreciated the tripartite collaboration and the commitment of Viet Nam to provide technical assistance to Sierra Leone through FAO SSC. Hon. Dr. Theresa T. Dick, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, and Hon. Dr. Bockarie Albert Kalokoh, Deputy Minister of Finance, also expressed their commitment to the project and to engage and benefit from SSC with Viet Nam.

During their visit, the delegation had the opportunity to visit proposed project sites, including training and research centers, exchange ideas with community members and technical teams, and hold working sessions with stakeholders in the rice sector. The mission was concluded with a stakeholder debriefing meeting, highlighting the need for expertise in rice value chain development, including rice production, irrigation, rice breeding, mechanization, post-harvest management, and capacity building through study tours, field training, and training of trainers.

This project builds on the successful results of the support provided by the FAO-China Trust Fund project to Sierra Leone. As a step towards achieving self-sufficiency in rice, Sierra Leone will contribute nearly USD 5 million to the project through a Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF), a substantial contribution from a Least Developed Country. The project is timely, given the current food crisis context.

This joint mission underscores the commitment of FAO, Sierra Leone and Viet Nam to South-South Cooperation, contributing to the development of Sierra Leone's rice sector through a constructive partnership.