Governmental or Ministry-based Extension
- Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (702 extension staff in 2009)
- Njala University, School of Agriculture
BRAC—the largest NGO in Bangladesh, is also working in Sierra Leone
RIU Research Into Use: Sharing lessons to enable innovation in agriculture.
ASTI Agricultural Research and Development investments and capacity in Sierra Leone
Publicly Funded Agricultural Research
- Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) was established in 2007 as the primary national agricultural research institute. It is planned that SLARI will operate eight research centers focusing on various commodities and research themes, but as of 2009 only two of the eight centers were operating; the remaining centers are in the process of being rehabilitated and staffed.
Examples of Extension Related Projects
Machinery Training Benefits Rural Farmers
(USAID - ACDI/VOCA)
PAGE Program (press release received 9/2011)
In support of the Government of Sierra Leone’s Smallholder Commercialization Program (SCP) the PAGE project recently organized a machinery operation and maintenance training course in Koinadugu district. Using funds provided by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) through the European Union Food Facility (EUFF) the training aimed to improve farmers’ technical and practical skills in farm machinery operation and maintenance of tools and equipment. A total of 53 farmers from 15 Agricultural Business Centre (ABCs) attended the four-day training. To ensure equal participation and the smooth transfer of knowledge and skills to farmers, each ABC appointed three representatives to attend the training.
The PAGE project and the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Njala University jointly facilitated the training. PAGE (Promoting Agriculture, Governance and the Environment) is a four year project funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA. The machinery operation and maintenance training marks the fifth in a series of EUFF funded and PAGE supported trainings aimed at providing farmers with increased knowledge and the practical skills necessary for the operation of the ABCs. Other trainings include doing business for profit and financial management and record keeping skills. The ABCs’ goal is to generate income and improve livelihood conditions for smallholder farmers by promoting farming as a business.
The SCP provides technical guidance, equipment and materials to help boost agricultural yields, limit post-harvest losses, and increase agricultural productivity. With support from Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), the Koinadugu district ABCs have already received 30 power tillers, 15 rice mills, 15 threshers and 15 rice cutters. Dr. Sahr Gavaor, the head of training team, introduced the training as follows: “The practical skills, knowledge and understanding acquired during this exercise will enable you to safely and efficiently use the farm machines and equipment provided to you by the Smallholder Commercialization Program.” The four day training covered the uses of power tillers and tractors, operating rice threshers and hullers post-harvest, rice post-production machinery quality control, repairs and maintenance schedules and safety precautions. “I encourage you all to make the best use of this training exercise, because it builds on what you already know and covers many things that were unclear to you”, said Haja Sesay, Koinadugu District Agriculture Officer.
In groups of three, the farm operators held their practicals at the MAFFS district maintenance division while others worked at milling sites and on farm lands. Mr. Karim Sesay, a lecturer at Njala Univeristy in the Agricultural Engineering Department, advised the farm operators to religiously practice the culture of maintenance of their tools and equipment for both safety and durability. The SCP is developing further learning materials to help farmers understand the advantages of farm machinery maintenance schedules.
Abu Samura, a tractor and power tiller operator who works in the ABC in Falaba (Wara Wara Yagala chiefdom) claimed he could talk until tomorrow and not run out of reasons why the training exercise was important to him: “Before the training, we had little knowledge about organizing and undertaking maintenance for different farm seasons, which has affected my farm work and cost me a lot of money. We were only doing it in our own local ways.”
According to ABC Koinadugu district coordinator Samuel D. Kamara, initially farmers’ understanding of farming for business was minimal, and the ABCs faced serious constraints in the areas of information sharing and leadership: “These ABC practical training exercises have helped our work considerably, because when a farmer teaches a farmer it makes it easier for others to understand.”
Media Communications Coordinator,
Promoting Agriculture,Governance and the Environment
ACDI/VOCA, Sierra Leone
232 33 660 382, 232 76 660 382
List of Extension Providers
The following list shows an excerpt from the GFRAS Directory of Extension Providers for Sierra Leone. Some of these entries may be specially marked for having more detailed information in the database of the Worldwide Extension Study WWES.