BRAC in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and other partners want to reduce poverty for 4,140 livestock farmers in five districts in Sierra Leone, according to the Program Manager, Mohamed Alpha, on Monday 9th December 2019. It is a three-year project in the Western Area Rural District, Koinadugu, Bonthe, Pujehun and Kailahun District worth €1.6 million from the European Union, targeting 60% women and 25% youth. The Global Hunger Index rates Sierra Leone as the third hungriest country in the world with 63% of its population living below the poverty line. The Project Manager said hopes to improve food security and livelihood on farms and also increase income and productivity. The livestock diversification is lot three of the Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) project, under the ministry of Agriculture, which BRAC is implementing with two other organisations implementing lot 1 and 2 which are tree crops and crops diversification.
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The animal diversification project will build the capacity of farmers by increasing access to extension services including veterinarians to promote healthy environments for livestock and increasing productivity and also for farmers to adopt improved livestock production techniques to enhance increased production for both consumption and market amongst others. He concluded that they are going to support the farmers with poultry, goats, sheep, ducks and rabbits in order for them to start the rearing process, noting that the farmer will be evaluated at the end of the third year of the project. According to Lahai Bangura from the Ministry of Agriculture, if fully implemented with the required target achieved more projects will derive from such. He said food security is the Ministry’s main target. A representative of the Pig and Poultry Farmers Association, Dick S. Johnson, said, “This is not the first time BRAC is supporting farmers in the Western Rural District.” The Chief Administrator of the Western Area Rural District Council, Aminata P. Kargbo, said the Council is trying to provide opportunities and services. “We are happy to launch such a project.”
By Mohamed J. Bah
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