Sierra Leone - Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) implemented through the Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (AVDP) - June 2022
The AVDP targeted the Denkola II Women Association, a group of 30 women farmers, as a part of its RPSF intervention. The group received seeds, fertilizer and other farming inputs to help them resume their pre-lockdown production. RPSF also helped the women get started with large-scale onion production, providing them with seed bulbs, a large drying and curing machine (and generator to run it), as well as training on how to use the machine to add value and to avoid post-harvest losses of their products.
“Without the support of RPSF, our lives would be miserable. The Covid-19 packages we received from government or NGOs during the pandemic period just provided what we needed to make it through the day. But with the highly profitable onion production, RPSF not only helped us recover from the impact of Covid-19, it gave us something that will last forever.” - Aja Thoa Conteh, Chairwoman
Post-harvest food waste is one of the most concerning food security challenges faced in many countries. Through AVDP, RPSF provided women groups across the country with curing and drying machines, along with back-up generators to run them, to process onions for prolonged shelf-life. This value-added activity decreases food loss, allowing for greater marketing flexibility that follows demand and price fluctuations. In turn, the women earn more and are empowered to increase their production.
The Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF) implemented in Sierra Leone through the IFAD-supported Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (AVDP) has helped small-scale producers, in particular women, persons with disabilities and young people not only to recover from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but to actually increase their production and productivity. Access to machinery greatly reduces the drudgery of labour-intensive activities and can help control harvest waste.
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