One of EU’s grantees Solidaridad West Africa and its implementing partner, Cotton Tree Foundation, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry launched the Popularization of the Sierra Leone National Cocoa, Coffee and Cashew Policies.
The policies which were developed as part of activity implementation by the Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) Project with funding from the European Union (EU) in Sierra Leone provide guidance and direction to the development of tree crops, define and inform institutional roles and responsibilities, and ensure the incorporation of by-laws to address issues affecting farmers, and promote the production of cocoa, coffee and cashew nationwide.
The policies also encourage private sector engagement for rural employment opportunities and subsequently promote Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) to mitigate negative environmental impacts.
Officially launching the popularization exercise of the policies, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Abubakar Karim, said the policies will serve as a framework for the ministry and its partners to design and implement sustainable and competitive value chain programmes in Sierra Leone.
He urged the District Agriculture Officers (DAOs) to take ownership of the popularization exercise and ensure its objectives are fully met. Isaac Musa Bangura, the Imprest Administrator of BAFS-PCU noted that the policies were strategically formulated to provide the effective framework to develop, govern and regulate the establishment of cashew, cocoa and coffee-based industries in Sierra Leone.
Abridged versions of the policies together with information, education and communication materials have been produced for wider dissemination. Trained District Agriculture Officers will be championing and leading the popularization drive in communities in their various districts.
More information about the EU’s Support to the agriculture sector in Sierra Leone can also be found on the NAO’s Face book page: @NAOSIERRALEONE and Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) Project website www.bafs.org.sl/ or BAFS Facebook page @bafsprojectsierraleone