NAFSL plants the seeds of change on World Food Day!
Sierra Leonean agriculture experienced a historic moment on October 16, 2023, during the International World Food Day. The National Association of Farmers of Sierra Leone (NAFSL), as a member of the Network of Peasant Organizations and Agricultural Producers of West Africa (ROPPA), took the initiative to organize an event that brought together the entire agricultural community, highlighting the potential and challenges of the agricultural sector in the country. This celebration, held in the Southern region of Sierra Leone, saw the active participation of farmers, politicians, and stakeholders in the private agricultural sector. The goal was twofold: to recognize the vital contribution of farmers to national food security and to showcase innovations and progress in the field of agriculture.
NAFSL farmers, coming from all regions of the country, were the stars of this event. They presented their family farm products, true testaments to their commitment to sustainable and diversified production. Demonstration plots were set up to showcase aquaculture techniques and the value addition processes in crop chains. These initiatives illustrate the determination of Sierra Leonean farmers to innovate and improve productivity while preserving the environment. The “Feed Salone” program, launched by the President during this event, embodies the political will to support and energize the agricultural sector. This flagship program aims to transform agriculture into a driver of economic growth and poverty reduction, while ensuring the country’s food self-sufficiency.
The launch ceremony was a highlight, symbolizing the government’s commitment to invest in the agricultural sector and to work closely with farmers to meet the challenges of sustainable development. The “Feed Salone” initiative aims to promote the use of modern technologies, access to markets, improvement of infrastructure, and strengthening of farmers’ capacities. This event was also an opportunity for farmers to discuss the obstacles they face, such as climate change, plant and animal diseases, and limitations in terms of access to financing and markets. Workshops and roundtables allowed for the sharing of solutions and best practices to overcome these challenges and improve the resilience of agricultural communities.
The significant presence of private sector representatives underscored the importance of strong partnerships between farmers and companies to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship. Discussions focused on how private investments can contribute to modernizing agriculture, improving value chains, and increasing access to local and international markets. Thus, the International World Food Day in Sierra Leone was a catalyst for collaboration among various actors in the agricultural sector and an advocacy for the recognition of the central role of farmers in society. It highlighted the urgency of adopting innovative and sustainable agricultural practices to ensure food security and promote economic development.
In conclusion, through this event, the NAFSL not only celebrated the achievements of Sierra Leonean farmers but also laid the groundwork for a promising agricultural future for the country. The commitment made on this day reflects a common vision of progress and hope, where food is not just a matter of survival, but a bridge towards a shared and sustainable prosperity for all citizens of Sierra Leone.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer