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BRAC boosts pig farming in rural Sierra Leone

October 26, 2017 By BRAC Sierra Leone Communications Unit

Officials at the high table in Makeni

Through its Pig Value Chain (PVC) project, BRAC, an international non-governmental organization working in Sierra Leone, has increased the production of piggery and the income of over 800 pig producers in five districts of the country.

The PVC project, which operates under the organization’s Agriculture and Food Security Programme, is an asset transfer project aimed at improving the livelihood of pig farmers in Waterloo, Makeni, Bo, Magburaka and Lunsar.

Since inception of the project two years ago, pig farming has taken a different turn in the operating areas, with beneficiaries observing growth of pig farms. The project introduced high productive pig breeds, organized the value chain by institutional development at all levels of the market actors, facilitated pork processing by establishing local level slaughter houses and established visible market linkages within the pig market system.

Before the construction of the slaughter houses, pig slaughtering was done at the premises of the producers, butchers or traders without any health inspection of the pig because in many cases, these people have no knowledge of the hygienic measures to observe during the slaughtering of the pig. They also lacked the facilities needed to maintain hygiene before, during and after primary processing of the pork. Hence, the establishment of slaughter houses came as a strong recommendation from the Pig Value Chain study and in response to calls from the district level piggery Business Development Forum as established by BRAC. Farmers requested for support with a slaughtering house with at least minimal infrastructures and facilities as there was no certain place or outlet to find pork in the market.

At project learning and experience sharing workshops which also marked the formal handing over of the pig slaughtering houses, to the Agriculture ministry and respective city councils last Week, one thing that came out clearly was  how much the people, both direct and indirect beneficiaries, appreciate BRAC, whom they say has been with them through thick and thin.

In Makeni, the District Agriculture Officer referred to the facility as an “innovation which has not happened before”.  A representative of the Paramount Chief called it “a step in the right direction”. Chief Administrator of the Makeni City Council pointed out that the construction of the facility would surely boost the economy of the district, considering the fact that beneficiaries and other people would be paying little amounts to use the facility.

In Bo, the creation of the facility was referred to as an eye opener for other partners to see how much such projects will help to create the enabling environment for people to improve their livelihoods and sustainability considering the level of change the project has brought for pig farmers in the district and beyond.

A beneficiary described the facility as “a pride to them” as before then, pork business had no value in their community. He said they had fewer customers because most people who were hygiene conscious refused to buy from them as they lacked hygienic environment to run their business.

Ranked the world’s number one NGO for two consecutive years now, BRAC has been operating in Sierra Leone since 2008, using a holistic approach to implement its various programmes. In Sierra Leone, BRAC runs projects in Agriculture Poultry and Livestock, Health, Adolescents Empowerment, Slum Development and Microfinance. It operates in 11 districts across the country and in 11 countries across the globe.

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