October 25, 2019
The Sierra Leone Chamber of Agribusiness (SLeCAD) has concluded agribusiness, agro-industrialization and financial principles training for Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) across the country.
The Chamber trained 40 FBOs in Kono District,20 in Port Loko,60 in Bombali and 20,with similar replicated in all districts across the country.
The first session of the training in Kono, which marked the launching, was attended by key District Stakeholders, including the District Agriculture Officer In Kono, the Chief Administrator of the Koidu New Sembehun City Council and the media, among a host of others.
Addressing stakeholders and the beneficiary FBOs from across the fourteen Chiefdoms of Kono District, the Agricbusiness Value Chain Officer for SLeCAD, Sylvester Bona, said the project aimed at improving the agribusiness development, financial management, value chain and industrial development skills of agribusiness operators, including farmers working along the value chain.
According to him, the specific targets of the trainings were entrepreneurship, book keeping, financial management and access to finance.
He said the skills training would help increase agricultural productivity in the District, help provide jobs and makes the agriculture sector attractive to youth.
He went on to say that by bringing FBOs together would help create a platform for networking with other farmer organizations in the country.
He disclosed that SLeCAD established district offices across the country, where farmers can access information, discuss issues affecting farming communities and resolutions that should be forwarded to government or policy makers for better agricultural production.
According to the Agricbusiness Value Chain Officer, they were expecting that after the trainings farmers would have been better capacitated in book keeping records, to help in controlling their expense and improve on their production skills.
He said it would also help farmer organizations to develop value addition scheme in their different productions and also help them to practice standardization for better marketing.
He said plans were underway to train additional farmer organization in Kono and other district across the country, thus encouraging farmers to register with SLeCAD.
He disclosed that SLeCAD was sourcing funding from GIZ and the World Bank through SCADEP.
The Development Advisor for GIZ under its Employment Promotion Programme (EPP) attached to SLeCAD, Diego Barreiro, told participants that they are supporting the project to help build the capacity of farmers as part of their strides to complement government’s efforts to achieving food self-sufficiency, improving agribusiness and providing jobs through skills training.
District Agriculture Officer in Kono, Lamin Mbogba, thanked SLeCAD for building the capacity of farmers and called on them to put into practice the skills trainings that they will acquire.
Chief Administrator of the Koidu New Sembehun City Council, Ahmed M. Lahai, described the training of farmer organizations as timely and expressed gratitude to SLeCAD for undertaking such a project.
He observed that agriculture is the back bone in the development of every country’s economy, and that youth constitute the largest number of the country’s population but that many have taken off their attention from agriculture.
He called on participating youth to put more efforts into agriculture, which he said is a life time enterprise that would help better their lives.
A representative from the Apex Bank, Foday Sesay, trained farmers about access to finance and banking in community banks for farmers in the District.
The training was climaxed by the awards of certificates to each member of the forty participating organizations.Similar ceremony was replicated in all the districts across the country.