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World Vision boosts agricultural business centers with mobility in Bo District

World Vision boosts agricultural business centers with mobility in Bo District

Community Facilitators commonly known as Extension workers of Agricultural Business Centers in Bo District Southern Sierra Leone have been provided with (17) seventeen bicycles by World Vision Sierra Leone with funding from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

World Vision Sierra Leone a  Christian humanitarian and development Organization  is currently working in close partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and development partners in the country, to build  human resource capacity of Board members of Agriculture Business Centers in five Districts across the country  to realize Commercialization of the Agricultural sector.    

The Agricultural Business Center (ABC) is a multipurpose facility that is registered and operated as a private liability company/or company limited by guarantee. The (ABC) is a farmer owned institution that provides rural communities a place on their door step to trade goods and services as a business.

Members of the FBO’s in ABC’s are the end point for service delivery and the ABC serves as an interface between these farmers and service providers. It therefore provides access to productivity enhancing technologies and markets.

Residents of Bo District will soon start buying their locally grown staple food of all varieties from their own Agricultural Business Centers established in all major Towns and Villages by the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security through the small holder commercialization programme.

Mattia Koi Dimoh, World Vision’s Bo Base Manager  said “World Vision is committed and determined to work with the government of Sierra Leone and other partners in alleviating poverty through the commercialization of the agricultural sector with value addition to produce.”

This he said “will enable farmers to make gains to on increasing food security and incomes of subsistence farmers through the Smallholder Commercialization Program (SCP).” 

He said, it requires energy discipline and resources to help farmers in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization in a bid to build the human resource capacity of farmers to undertake various activities to make the Agricultural Business Centers  ABC’s viable for economic growth.

He called on the farmers to take responsibility of the Agricultural Business Centers for effective management and sustenance of the centers and encouraged them to inculcate the culture of maintenance in the use of the bicycles and other facilities at the center.  

 Mattia Koi Dimoh World Vision’s Bo Base Manager pointed out that the bicycles are giving to the Ministry of Agriculture to support the ABC’s in carrying out their various activities at communities and villages where the ABC’s are operational.

He said to enable the ABC’s functional; it requires good mobilization of farmers and support with effective monitoring and evaluation of their activities by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and its development partners in the agriculture sector.   

Henry Kawa Director of Small Holder Commercialization Programme in Bo District said World Vision is building the capacity of farmers in managing and maximizing food production and value addition of produce.

He said the programme which started in 2009 to mitigate food crisis by producing more food as a result the National Rapid Response Programme was established through the Farmer Field School.

Director Kawa went on to state that the ABC’s serves as a platform to engage private and public sector service providers and donors to cooperate on specific activities that build capacity, contribute to the income flows and limit expenditures to give a net balance that determines viability and sustainability of the ABC’s.

The Agricultural Business Centers will serve to build synergy between public and private sector roles in providing communities of small scale farmers’ opportunities to increase access to agricultural services and thereby enhance productivity and scale up enterprises.

He said farmers were supported with over 33 power tillers, rice mills, and agricultural inputs and the construction of Agriculture Business Centers in Bo District, and World Vision was contracted to build the capacity of farmers and their Board members for the effective utilization of the Agricultural Business Centers.

Mr. Kawa pointed out that the Agricultural Centers (ABC) is meant for the conduct of meetings and other business activities like the sale of fertilizers and other produce with value addition to meet the competitive market for Farmer Base Organizations.

He cautioned the farmers to use the bicycles for the effective running of Agricultural Business Centers by ensuring transparency and accountability mechanisms are met.

Henry Kawa Director Small Holder Commercialization Programme  also said World Vision has trained Farmer Base Organizations (FBO’s) in Business Management and encouraged the farmers to organise themselves so as to bid for agricultural contracts in the supply of food chain.

A Community Facilitator or Extension worker Baoma Chiefdom in the Bo District Moses A Mayei  on behalf of his colleague farmers expressed gratitude to World Vision and the Food Agriculture Organization and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security for the support accorded them in the District and assured of their fullest compliance according to the expertise learnt from World Vision.

The Paramount Chief of Lugbu Chiefdom PC Mohamed Alie Nallo said “I know the importance of agriculture because I have an agriculture project that has benefited the people with huge financial income and encouraged his subjects to maintain the Agricultural Business Centers.

He said World Vision has been very helpful to the people of Bo District and appealed for their continued support towards the agricultural sector for economic growth and sustainable development in the country stating that Agriculture Business will help to alleviate rural poverty with food self sufficiency.

He called on the farmers to also make good use of the opportunities available on the agricultural sector and encouraged the community facilitators to use the bicycles for its intended purpose.

Mohamed Alpha Bah District Director of Agriculture in Bo Southern Sierra Leone chaired the ceremony and assured world vision and the Food and Agriculture organization of their commitment to support the process.

A memorandum of understanding was signed with the community facilitators of the Agriculture Business Centers of which World Vision procured 73 bicycles with funds from Food and Agriculture Organization that will be distributed to ABC’s as follows in five districts Bo 17, Kailahun 15, Bonthe 11, Pujehun 15and Kono 15 bicycles.

Cross-section of Community Facilitators  of Agricultural Business Centers in Bo District with their bicycles provided by World Vision with funding from FAO

Mattia Koi Dimoh World Vision’s Bo Base Manager handing over the bicycles to Mohamed Alpha Bah District Director of Agriculture in Bo for use by community facilitators of Agric Business Centers.

Saidu Bah

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