Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In the midst of his ‘Feed Salon’ regional stakeholder engagement districts tour, Musa Kpaka, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, expressed admiration for the impactful initiatives of grantees supported by the Smallholder Commercialisation and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP) under its Agribusiness Services Matching Grant (ASMG) scheme in Kono.
The purpose of the visit was to witness first hand the outcomes of SCADeP’s interventions and their contributions to agricultural development.
Kpaka commenced his tour at the Yormata Youth Agricultural Development Organization in Tombodu, Kamara Chiefdom. During the visit, the Minister explored the Yormata farm facility, a construction facilitated by SCADeP. Notably, he observed 1,200 chicks supplied to the group eight weeks ago, emphasizing the project’s commitment to fostering sustainable poultry farming.
A demonstration of the feed mill processing equipment, a collaborative effort by SCADeP and the World Food Program (WFP), showcased the group’s ability to produce its own poultry feed. The Yormata group’s innovation extended to the display of an incubator, designed in-house for hatching eggs.
A remarkable highlight of the visit was the presentation of an auto smart irrigation system, engineered by the organization’s Lead Innovator, Engineer Osman Yaah.
The system is automated by mobile phone calls with designated numbers that simultaneously turn the system on and off when dialled. Mr, Yaah said he first created the system from scraps but with funding received from the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Fund (SLEDP) which provided a $15,000 grant matched with $10,000 by the group, they were able to develop a 10 kilowatts solar powered irrigation system using a water system that was provided by the Smallholder commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project to produce vegetables throughout the cropping seasons.
Aiah Emmanuel Gborie, Program Officer of the Yormata Agricultural Youth Organization, conveyed their gratitude for SCADeP’s support, emphasizing the transformative impact on their lives. The poultry house, hosting 1,200 chicks, and the feed mill provided by SCADeP have significantly enhanced their ability to be self-sufficient.
Continuing the tour, Minister Kpaka visited the Kasiatama Cocoa Cooperative warehouse at Sinah Terrace in Koidu town. Mr. Momba Issa, Chairman of the cooperative, highlighted SCADeP’s contributions, including the provision of a warehouse in Kayima, Sandor Chiefdom. The cooperative also received cocoa solar drying stands, moisture meters, calculators, scales, bean cutters, and other essential tools, resulting in improved standards and increased value for their cocoa beans.
Mr. Gborie spoke of the transformative impact of SCADeP’s training programs, revealing that the Kasiatama Cocoa Cooperative has experienced a significant increase in cocoa production, from 75 metric tons to over 201 metric tons. These high-quality cocoa beans are now supplied to prominent players in the cocoa subsector, marking a substantial achievement facilitated by SCADeP’s interventions. MJB/17/1/2024