The agriculture industry remains the largest driver of economic growth in Sierra Leone, with over 60% of the country’s population employed in the industry. Ironically however, Sierra Leone is ranked the 3rd hungriest country of the world in the 2017 Global Hunger index. Nearly half of the country’s population is food insecure, according to a WFP report.
BRAC’s agriculture programme is designed to strengthen the agriculture sector in Sierra Leone through capacity building initiatives and support of quality inputs. We increase the productivity and income of farmers by providing training, establishing demonstration farms and kitchen gardens, producing and distributing quality seeds, providing inputs and tools support to farmers, organising nutrition awareness campaigns, forming and meeting village nutrition committees, and developing staff capacity.
We establish community agriculture promoters who deliver technical services and inputs to smallholder farmers. They have the opportunity to establish themselves as small entrepreneurs and strengthen their businesses. We disseminate modern agriculture technologies to familiarise farmers with practices which will improve their livelihoods.
We also strengthen the livestock sector by increasing the productivity of small scale farms through building the capacity of smallholder farmers, introducing modern livestock management techniques, demonstrations, and building viable services of local businesses through trainings and capacity building of local staff. We reduce livestock mortality, increase incomes, create employment opportunities, and reduce malnutrition and stunting of livestock. Rural women and families who suffer from food insecurity, and are primarily excluded from mainstream livestock programmes, are the target clients.
We develop self-employed community livestock and poultry promoters who provide technical services and inputs to livestock producers. THe promoters are also responsible for raising local demand in the poultry and livestock sector. The greater part of the activities focuses on capacity building, developing model farmers through demonstrations, and adapting modern technologies to suit the local context.