Sierra Leone - Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (AVDP) - June 2022
Nongowa Agriculture Business Centre, Kenema - The AVDP reinforces the concepts that farming is a business and that the country should be able to grow what it eats. In addition to its traditional value chain support programme in rice, cocoa and oil palm production, the project is working with farmers, especially women and women-headed households, persons with disabilities, and youth to increase vegetable production as part of growing efforts to boost their household incomes and nutrition. Eleven farmer-based organizations (FBOs) have come together to form the Nongowa ABC.
Agriculture Business Centres (ABCs) are helping smallholder producers move from mere subsistence farming to farming as a business. ABCs provide training and help increase access to services and markets that would otherwise be out of reach – they provide low-cost processing and storage facilities, help with branding for value addition, and link farmers to markets. Importantly, the ABCs help to social cohesion and cooperative spirit at the community level.
David Sam farms two plots of inland valley swamp (IVS), total of ½ acres. He is associated with the Lambayamu FBO. David, who is blind, is assisted by his two children. During the rainy season he grows rice, and during the dry season, he uses water from the IVS to irrigate groundnuts, sweet potato, other grains and vegetables. He also raises free range poultry, which he sells for meat. He receives improved seeds from the ABC. He processes his rice using the ABC milling and destoner machinery and sells to the ABC, which in turn sells rice in bulk to wholesale buyers. The ABC has also provided assistance to further develop his IVS plots for improved water management.
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