The NaCSA District Humanitarian Officer (DHO), Kenema District, Moriba Foday has said his organization in collaboration with UNHCR has designed the Self Reliance Strategy (SRS) scheme to build the capacity of the residual caseload of Liberian refuges to achieve income generation for themselves.
Mr Moriba was addressing refugee participants at the opening ceremony of a two-day training workshop for refugee family heads in farming systems for food security and income generation under the Pilot Self Reliance Strategy, (SRS) Scheme in Tobanda and Bandajuma areas, in the South and East of Sierra Leone respectively.
The DHO also said, “the scheme is aimed at putting durable solutions to the Liberian refugee problems by locally integrating them into Sierra Leone local communities around their respective camps”.
In his remarks the District Director of Agriculture in Kenema, John Lahai, said it had been organized by NaCSA and UNHCR to capacitate the refugees in agricultural production.
He assured them of the long term cooperation between NaCSA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. He appealed to the refugees to take the training seriously as it would help them live comfortable lives among the Sierra Leonean host community members.
An agriculture specialist in crop production, Maxwell Bockarie dealt with crop cultivation, production, storage and marketing, disclosing that some agricultural practices took longer period than the others.
He urged that government should now pay more attention to swamp rice production, which he described as more profitable.
A livestock production specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Kenema, Richard Allieu, also presented a paper on vegetable production, rearing of small ruminants and management, stressing that the refugees should treat the training seriously as it was designed to equip them for their sustenance. This was followed by a paper presentation on “Bee Keeping” by the National Coordinator of Humanist Action for Grassroots Development Institute, Mustapha Khal. Highlight of the training was the practical demonstration of crop cultivation at selected farming sites in the camp.
Participants were drawn from the camp and host community areas, while a cross section of NaCSA’s staff observed the training.