The Boosting Agriculture and Food Security Project, a flagship project of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry funded by the European Union, has an objective that aims to carry on providing support to cashew, cocoa and coffee (CCC) sectors especially in the field of certification, traceability, and trade. This would improve product quality and optimises supply chains. Both of these issues also play an important role in the cash crop-focused project implemented by Solidaridad Network West Africa and co-applicant, Cotton Tree Foundation.
Due to the poor quality of the nuts, low productivity and a lack of organisation, the cash crop farmers often find themselves in a weak negotiating position compared to traders, meaning that they can only earn very low incomes. The €4m grant signed with Solidaridad Network West Africa will work to address this issue and improve the situation of farmers and producers.
The project titled "Develop a Vibrant, Competitive and Profitable Sierra Leonean Cocoa, Coffee and Cashew Economy" specifically ensures an efficient and effective value chains of cash crops for export are promoted with special focus on increasing quality and quantity of production, processing, marketing and trading, while implementing environmentally sound agricultural practices.
This initiative is expected to benefit 4,000 farmers with improved planting materials, build capacities of 10,000 farmers in managing pre and post-harvest losses, and training of 10,000 farmers on cocoa, cashew and coffee certification processes. Indirectly, 20,000 farmers will benefit from the Farmer-Support-Centers to be erected and made functional by the project, and internal trade dialogue sessions. The project will be implemented in 7 districts including Bo, Bombali, Bonthe, Kailahun, Kenema, Koinadugu, Kono, Port Loko, Pujehun and Western Rural.