Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Grantees who are implementing programs under the SCADeP (Sierra Leone Commercial Agriculture Development Project) Agribusiness Services Matching Grant and the Sierra Leone Agribusiness Development Fund are receiving comprehensive training on Standard Operating Procedures Manual, Post-Harvest Management, and Value Chain-specific models and Benefit-Sharing Schemes.
This training initiative, aimed at beneficiaries involved in rice, poultry, maize, and onion value chains, seeks to address gaps stemming from the various interventions provided to these grantees by SCADeP. The support includes the construction of value addition processing centres, such as drying floors, WASH facilities, and machinery. However, these efforts have highlighted the need for improved machinery operational competency, adherence to standard environmental safeguard practices, increased productive capacities, and more.
Dr. Henry Yamba Kamara, the Grant Manager for SCADeP, outlined three primary objectives of the training from a project perspective. Firstly, manuals have been developed to guide grantees on the optimal utilization of machines provided by the project, and it is essential for grantees to become thoroughly acquainted with them. Secondly, there is a necessity for grantees to receive comprehensive training on value addition in post-harvest processes. Thirdly, SCADeP aims to ensure that profit-sharing by producer organizations is fully understood and executed in ways that promote fairness, equity, and mutual benefits among stakeholders.
Dr. Kamara emphasized that minimizing risks is crucial to instilling confidence in private capital investors, encouraging them to invest in the various businesses of the grantees. Other training objectives include educating grantees on techniques to maintain the quality of harvested crops and products, ensuring they meet market standards. Additionally, participants will gain an understanding of sharing mechanisms, such as cooperative models and profit-sharing agreements, to guarantee the equitable distribution of gains from post-harvest activities and standard operating procedures among stakeholders.
Mr. Lahai Bangura, the Director of Crops in Bombali, commended SCADeP for its outstanding work with farmers and encouraged grantees to maximize the information provided during the training.
Mr. Andrew Manasaray, the Bombali District Agricultural Officer (DAO), highlighted the significance of this training as a major step towards agricultural advancement. He emphasized that it aligns with the “Feed Salon” agricultural flagship program soon to be launched by His Excellency the President and the Ministry of Agriculture, underlining its critical role in advancing the agricultural sector. MJB/2/10/2023