As part of its regular monitoring and evaluation activities, the National Authorising Office and the European Union together with other partners monitor and evaluate Action Against Hunger (AAH) and Fresh Salone who are both implementing partners for a 24 months action to upgrade the groundnut value chain in Moyamba District through the EU funded BAFS project under the agribusiness which was signed in December, 2019.
The project has been implemented for over a year now, the National Authorising Office (NAO), European Union (EU), Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) and Ministry of Agriculture Forestry (MAF) visited some of the project sites to do progress review on the status of physical implementation of the grant contract, financial progress and next steps taking into consideration the project’s four outputs as stated in the signed contract:
- Increased groundnut production, quality and productivity for smallholder farmers
- Increased added value, market linkages and delivery of quality and safe groundnut and groundnut products able to reach international standards and export quality level
- Enhanced access to relevant business services for smallholders
- Enhanced coordination among core and extended groundnut value chain stakeholders and building of effective partnership
AAH and Fresh Salone developed an action for improving collaboration among the various stakeholders involved in the groundnut value chain in Moyamba district and to sustainably upgrade the groundnut value chain in the district.
The project aims at addressing some of the challenges that are undermining the performance of the groundnut value chain. This value chain was selected due to its untapped potential for upgrading, high market demand, opportunities for low-cost value addition, potential for contribution to inclusive agricultural growth, jobs creation, food security, nutrition and gender empowerment.
Moyamba was chosen for the implementation of this project because the contract implementer AAH has a well-established presence in the district, and has commissioned an assessment on nutrition-sensitive value chains (cowpea, groundnut and okra) in Moyamba district, and also Moyamba is close to the groundnut production belt
The overall objective of the project is to “Contribute to poverty and food insecurity reduction in Sierra Leone” and with an expected outcome of “sustainably upgrade the groundnut value chain in Moyamba district by promoting a better integration of all elements of the chain and by enhancing collaboration between core and extended value chain stakeholders”.
During the team’s farm site visit at Gbangbatoke Junction village in Bagruwa chiefdom, Moyamba district, the village Chief Momodu Jamalanga expressed delight over the project implementation in his community which he said has engaged most of the women and youths in the different communities in his section.
Mary J.S Yambasu Chairlady for “Let’s Love One and Other Women’s Organisation” and Mohamed S. Koita Chairman for the Agricultural Business Centre (ABC) both expressed appreciation over the project implementation and explained the added groundnut farming knowledge they have gained through the project implementation trainings like row planting and spacing. They these knowledge has helped them to have good groundnut yield. The project has also helped to put together the Village Savings and Loan Scheme to boost their financial capabilities.
They said the groundnut drier that has been installed in their ABC to dry up freshly harvested groundnuts prevents them from getting rot, and also with the installation of the dripping irrigation system to water the groundnut heaps makes the groundnuts to grow and yield well.
The Agricultural Technician for the EU-BAFS project in Moyamba, Samuel Charles Benjamin Pyne said the dripping irrigation system enables the farmers to plant groundnut throughout the year, unlike before groundnut planting was seasonal.
The project targeted 1,260 farmer beneficiaries (756 females and 504 males)
For more information about EU’s support to the agriculture sector in Sierra Leone, please visit NAO’s Facebook page: @NAOSIERRALEONE, BAFS website: www.bafs.sl, SLARi’s website: www.slari.gov.sl
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