BRAC Sierra Leone in collaboration with its implementing partners; Partners in Integrated Community Empowerment Programs (PICEP SL), Community Empowerment and Development Agency Sierra Leone (CEDA SL) and Kambia District Development, and Rehabilitation Organization (KADDRO) has organised a one-day Livestock exhibition show in the township of Futa, Futapeje Chiefdom, Pujehun District on 14th July 2023.
The project “Improving Food Security and Increasing Income for smallholder farmer through sustainable livestock production in Sierra Leone’ was funded by the European Union under the Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) project which is implemented in five targeted districts; Western Rural, Pujehun, Bonthe, Kailahun and Koinadugu
The exhibition displays high quality goats, sheep, ducks, rabbits, chicken, pigs including cow milk and butter.
In Sierra Leone, the livestock sector contributes only 3% to agricultural GDP. The majority of the livestock-dependent households of the country are operating at the subsistence level with low production and productivity without commercial orientation. The country struggles to produce an adequate supply of food for its population. The livestock sector has faced series of challenges for decades. The economic benefits of its restoration can be substantial, as livestock is an important economic, social as well as cultural component of rural society. The livestock sector relies heavily on imports and is underdeveloped and highly unproductive but with this EU funded project, there are promising signals to change the narratives.
Delivering the keynote address, Head of Rural Development, Governance and Accountability Andrew Tucker commended BRAC for organising the livestock exhibition show, which has helped to display the successes of the project in improving food security and increasing income for smallholder farmers who are mostly women and youth through sustainable livestock production in the country. He said the livestock exhibition would go a long way to demonstrate the commitment of BRAC in ensuring that they deliver the objective and results of the project. He thanked the EU for their support to improve on food security.
After the different presentations from the five participatory districts, (Western Area, Bonthe, Pujehun, Kailahun and Koinadugu), an inspection and assessment tour was done in all five exhibition booths by a team of livestock experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry headed by the Director of Livestock and Vetnary Services, Mohamed Alpha.
According to the different assessments, the following prices were given to farmers in the respective categories: Bothe District was awarded a prize for fast multiplication of animals, Pujehun for high eggs production, Western Area for good poultry care, Kailahun for good rabbit production and Koinadugu for producing the biggest sheep.
One of the beneficiary women farmers thanked BRAC and the European Union for improving their lives through the project, “Improving Food Security and Increasing Income for smallholder farmer through sustainable livestock production in Sierra Leone”