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.
Ann Jusu does inland valley swamp (IVS) farming growing rice and vegetables and is the Chairwoman of the Nyalima Women Group. The ABC has helped her increase her production, in particular, by providing her with herbicides to control weed growth, thus decreasing the drudgery of intensive weeding.
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