PAGE Project Partner, World Vision, boosts farmers in Kono with Agric tools
In a bid to complement the efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone to strengthen agricultural productivity, World Vision Sierra Leone, a partner member of Promoting Agriculture Governance and Environment (PAGE) has supplied farmer groups in Kono and Kailahun Districts with agricultural tools and office furniture. (Photo: PAGE Chief-of-Party – Georgia Beans, and WVSL National Director, Jennifer Harold handing over donated goods to Kono Farmer Groups)
The PAGE Project, led by ACDI/VOCA, is a United States Government Assistance to International Development (USAID) funded project aimed at building the capacity of subsistence farmers through the Smallholder Commercialization Program (SCP) to make gains on increasing food security and incomes.
The donation is in partial fulfillment of World Vision Sierra Leone’s Match fund contribution towards the PAGE Project.
The donated items include 80 bicycles with carrier, 100 pcs Pack bags, 5 pcs solar plastic sheet, 5 pcs rice thresher with winnower, 100 pcs axe, 100 pcs shovels, 100 pcs spade, 100 pcs axe, 100 pcs rakes, 100 pcs kodili hoes, 100 pcs wheel barrows, 20 pcs file cabinet and office furniture (Desk and chairs) worth over (US$ 70,000) Seventy thousand United States Dollars.
The handing over ceremony was witnessed by World Vision staff, PAGE Chief of Party, Ministry of Agriculture, Kono District Council, farmers groups (FBO’s) and cross section of stakeholders within Koidu Town.
National Director of World Vision Sierra Leone, Jennifer Harold, said “our children need to feel hopeful about the future, but when I look around I see children carrying heavy loads, not in school and going hungry. Sierra Leone is not supposed to be like this, children should be hopeful for a better future. And this project and all your efforts are helping to create that better future”.
She urged the beneficiaries of the Gift in Kind (GIK) to work together in their groups to add human labour, human diligence, and human desire to make the agriculture tools useful in creating a sustainable livelihood for their families and children.
The National Director of World Vision said “Kono is rich not only in minerals but in relationships.” additionally she said the inland valley swamps are going to grow in productivity with the continued support of USAID and the PAGE Project. She called on the farmers to ensure that they put in place a system for a periodic maintenance of the farming tools for sustainability and also encouraged them to open a revolving saving scheme so that other farmers can join the groups to benefit from the support.
World Vision and its partners are working together with paramount chiefs and deprived communities to improve the livelihood of the people through commercialized agriculture aimed at reducing poverty and achieving food security.
The Chief of Party for PAGE Sierra Leone, Georgia Beans, said the project is a US$14m United States Government funded project through USAID for Promoting Agriculture Governance and the Environment with the aim to promote small holder farmers with relevant farming skills and expertise with the necessary supporting value addition of products and marketing.
Ms Beans explained that PAGE has set the path for sustainable development as 363 farmer field schools have been developed to produce for the market. She continued stating that, “our farmers are the backbone of Sierra Leone’s economic development, so supporting them is crucial towards development and increasing the livelihood”.
PAGE is also supporting the World Food Programme through the purchase for progress (P4P) project to support school feeding programs in rural communities for nutrition.
Through the PAGE project, ACDI/VOCA and its partners— ARD and World Vision work to link democratic governance, economic growth and natural resource management development efforts in a way that best empowers farmers, women and youth.
Farmers associations are a key partner in the PAGE Project and several farmer groups have already entered into long-term lease agreements with land owners to cultivate an inland valley swamps to try new, improved rice varieties.
World Vision Sierra Leone staff has trained farmers in improved techniques and good agricultural practices and are focused on linking farmers and producer groups to local and international markets.
PAGE is all about increasing the income of smallholder farmers by improving post-harvest handling, organizing farmers and linking producers’ organizations to new markets,” says ACDI/VOCA Chief of Party, Georgia Beans.
Hamilton Joseph, Chairman, Agriculture Committee in Kono District Council, said World Vision has supported several projects in the district from Agriculture to education, health, relief and child protection to complement the efforts of government for an improved living standard for the ordinary people. He said the Gift in Kind gesture from World Vision to rural farmers is timely and will promote food security and will be reflective in urban areas on basic food stuff produced locally.
World Vision Base Manager, Tamba Neslon, said Kono farmer groups have been trained and hoped that the agricultural tools will increase productivity and high income for the farmers.
A representative of the Council of Paramount Chiefs in Kono District, PC Kon Gorba, recalled how the past war devastated the entire district but with the help of world vision several families have returned to their homes with income generating opportunities.
The chief said World Vision has addressed most of the priority needs of chiefdoms and villages in the area of education, health, and water and sanitation, agriculture among others.
Bintu Moseray, World Vision Sierra Leone Project Coordinator for the PAGE project, said agencies can complete each other in collectively helping farmers with improved varieties.
She said, the Gift in Kind donation came as a result of donor requirement to provide Matching Funds towards the project implementation. She implored the beneficiaries to sustain the project by strengthening the capacity of more farmers.
PAGE project is in context with the small holder commercialization of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security aimed at complementing the government efforts.
Training on business management, power tiller operation, Agriculture best practice linking the farmers to markets have been improved said Bintu Moseary.
World vision support to rural communities will affect prizes for basic commodities in the local market to fight poverty
A beneficiary Kai Bakieuma Ndomaina from Bayelse Farmers Association expressed gratitude to World Vision for providing his group with agricultural tools as the group alone cannot afford to buy the tools. While Elinor Naggab of Nundaemanay Agriculure Group said in the past her kids do not go to school due to poverty but with the support from World Vision she can send her kids to school and also take care of the home.
World Vision Sierra Leone is a relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.
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