FAO boosts support to Holima Agribusiness Centre
May 18, 2015
On 9 May, Dr. Gabriel Rugalema, FAO Representative in Sierra Leone, handed over building materials for the construction of a poultry breeding farm to members of the Holima Agriculture Business Centre in Fengehun village, Bo District.
The construction of this farm is part of FAO’s continued support to the Ebola recovery process. As a result of the impact of the outbreak on rural livelihoods, the aim is to support agricultural production and promote added value to enhance income generation and better access to food.
Delivering the materials, Dr. Rugalema expressed satisfaction over the centre’s productiveness in the past years and praised the courage of members who continued their farming activities even as the Ebola virus raged in the country. He expressed FAO’s commitment to transform the lives of farming communities, for whom FAO teams are working hard to capacitate both men and women to engage in business oriented farming.
“Every cent we bring is an investment for this community. We expect you to multiply them so that you earn enough money to send your children to school, who will in turn bring development to this community,” he entreated the farmers.
Mariama Koroma, Chairlady of Holima Agribusiness Centre, expressed gratitude to FAO for the support, which she said met their needs and aspiration. She revealed that the community has long been yearning to breed poultry because of its essence to both income generation and as a source of protein in their dietary needs.
She maintained that the poultry farming would greatly help them recover from economic loss caused by the Ebola outbreak. “We are very hopeful that the Ebola disease will be eradicated and the ban on periodic markets will be lifted so that we can sell the layers to increase our income,” she stated.
She promised that their membership would work hard to ensure that all conditions were met to enhance productivity. She explained, for example, that the centre would always have rice-brand to feed the chickens as it runs a milling site.
Members will also plant corn to feed the layers, she disclosed.
The Holima Agribusiness Centre comprises eight farmer based organizations whose members live in several villages within Kakua Chiefdom, Bo District, who predominantly depend on agriculture for their livelihood and sustenance of their families.
FAO will procure 500 layers as a starter for the Holima poultry farm. With FAO’s support, two members of the centre have been trained in good poultry management and acquired specific skills in food mixture, right feeding measurement, disease prevention and sanitary measures, vaccination, egg collection and handling.