The meeting is to provide strategic direction and technical advice to ensure effective implementation of the tree crops component of the BAFS programme funded by the European Union. The meeting shared achievements and challenges after one year of implementation by Solidaridad in the cashew sector in the northern part of the country
In 2019 Solidaridad received funds from the EU through the National Authorising Office (NAO) to develop the cash crops sector in Sierra Leone thereby having a vibrant, competitive and profitable cocoa, coffee and cashew economy under the Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) programme.
For the north of the country, Solidaridad is only concentrated on cashew farming, whiles in the south-east it focuses on cocoa and coffee.
Highlighting their successes since 2019, Solidaridad has planted 574,960 hybrid cocoa seedlings, planted 152,708 hybrid cashew seedlings, 2,700 farmers adopted intet-cropping, 140 farmer field school facilitators trained, 2,425 hecter of cocoa and cashew planted, 5,258 farmers benefited from the project and 300,000 seedlings have been nursed and ready for transplantation in 2020.
Speaking on behalf of the NAO, Head of Rural Development and Governance at the NAO, Andrew Tucker said a year has elapsed since the signing of the grant contract with European Union Delegation and Solidaridad and that Solidaridad should be preparing their annual technical and financial report and audit report ready for accessing the second refinancing payment for the continuation of their project. He admonished Solidaridad Implementing Partners to continue working in harmony to deliver results.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry who also doubles as chairman of the meeting encouraged other grantees to also showcase to the NAO, MAF and EU their successes and challenges in their project implementation
The meeting also seeks to solicit constructive ideas for Solidadridad 2021 workplan.