FAO,Solidaridad provide capacity training to rural women

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Solidaridad West Africa and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have started the replication of the Responsible Agricultural Investments (RAI) training in Mongo Bendugu, Falaba District, in the north of Sierra Leone.

The RAI initiative aims to empower rural women to take part in decisions about responsible agricultural investment. It seeks to address their concerns, needs, and proposals for more gender-responsive investments in their communities within the district.

Programme Officer at Solidaridad West Africa in Sierra Leone, Aminta Bah, said the training will target 30 smallholder women farmers, including their leaders. The goal is to empower more rural women to engage in RAI and participate in decision-making processes at the district level.

During the three-day training, FAO and Solidaridad are helping rural women identify challenges in engaging in RAI and find solutions to address them. This will be followed by a dialogue on the fourth day, where the rural women will present their challenges and recommendations to stakeholders.

Aminata Bah added that since 2022, over 200 women in Bo, Bombali, Kenema, Port Loko, Kambia, Moyamba, Koinadugu, Pujehun, and Kono have benefited from the training programme and engaged stakeholders in their communities through dialogue events.

Deputy Chairman of the Falaba District Council, Sannie Samura, said the RAI training will help more women boost agriculture in Sierra Leone. He noted that women are key to the development of agriculture, as more women are involved in agriculture than men in the district.

He called for more support for the women of Falaba to ensure food sufficiency in their communities and the country.

He also assured Solidaridad and FAO of the district council’s support to ensure the successful implementation of the RAI-Gender training in the district.

District Agriculture Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Falaba District, Tamba Killie, thanked Solidaridad and FAO for replicating the RAI training in Falaba District and for providing rural women with the knowledge and skills to invest in responsible agriculture.

He highlighted that FAO and Solidaridad, along with other development partners, have been supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to improve food value chains across the country.

He also commended Solidaridad and FAO for supporting the government of Sierra Leone’s Feed Salone Initiative, which aims to boost agricultural productivity, increase local food production, reduce dependency on food imports, reduce hunger, increase export earnings, create jobs, and build resilient food systems.

He urged the rural women to take advantage of the capacity training and to share the training with their peers in their communities.

The training, which started on 24th June, will culminate with a constructive dialogue event facilitated by local authorities to make concrete commitments to addressing the recommendations of rural women, empowering them to engage better in RAI in Falaba District, on Thursday, 27th June 2024.

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