The NAO, EU and Community Stakeholders have witnessed the first harvest of sweet peppers and tomatoes using the greenhouse technology by youths in Mange-Bureh Community, Bureh Chiefdom, Port Loko District.
One of the grantees under the European Union funded Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (EU-BAFS project), Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) through one of their local partner, KADDRO and JIM&K have been working with youths in Kambia and Port Loko Districts to farm sweet peppers and tomatoes using greenhouse technology and other improved inputs.
The project is working towards the creation of viable employment opportunities for young people in agriculture as well as strengthening of the vegetable value chain in the country.
The projects specific objectives are to increase food and income security for medium-scale youth-led farmer groups and enhanced performance of the local and national vegetable value chain.
As demonstrated during the harvest, the project has created jobs for numerous youths in Port Loko and Kambia districts in a year-round production of enhanced breeds of vegetables like tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions using environmentally sustainable techniques, and efficient production and post-harvest through increased input and service options, access to markets, and stronger networks and coordination between value chain actors in the vegetable sector.
The project is expected to achieve three main objectives: to strengthen technical and financial capacity of youth in agriculture, vegetable production, marketing and sustainable business management.
CAFOD and KADDRO are targeting over 400 youths to be involved in agribusiness in order to make them financially strong through their Village Savings and Loan Scheme which the youths now use to solve their social problems.
From the farmgate sales after the harvest, youths have now began to realise there is prospect for them in farming. One of the community stakeholders in Mange-Bureh, Councilor Morlai Sesay expressed delight over the successful harvest saying that will continue to motivate other youths to embark on agriculture.