December 10, 2015 By Samuel Ben Turay
The Rural and Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) and the World Bank office in Sierra Leone will today begin a two-day media and communication field trip assess the impact of implementation of the programme in districts across the country.
Speaking at a meeting yesterday at their Siaka Stevens Street offices in Freetown, RPSDP Grant Manager, Alimamy Kargbo said the programme is government owned and operates under the Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and Trade and Industries, with support from the World Bank.
“We are happy to do this assessment, to see what impact the project has created,” said Kargbo, adding that the objectives of the programme are to improve efficiency along the value chain of agricultural commodities with higher benefits flowing to the producers.
He said the project has four components – domestic marketing improvement, which aims at improving domestic distribution channels for selected agricultural products in a bid to improve the ability of farmers and traders to market their goods in Freetown and other large domestic markets; agricultural export promotion, which will provide the necessary tools and services for promoting export of commodities such as cocoa, coffee, cashew, oil palm, cassava and ginger. The component will support export promotion initiative for the said commodities, identified as promising for export by the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS). Target beneficiaries include producers, exporters and private enterprises in the value chain.
He identified the other components as support to farmer-based organisations and technology improvement, with an aim to increasing farmers’ access to improved agricultural technology and practices to support quality improvement in commodities supported under the first two components, and strategic studies to identify support for additional commodities and markets, targeting rural producers; while the last component will entail policy regulations, project management, monitoring, evaluation and policy regulations.
In a brief statement, World Bank Communications Consultant Ahmed Sahad Nasralla said the trip would be documented for future projects, and admonished both the RPSDP and the media team to capture issues that would make stories.