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FAO Sierra Leone Newsletter, January - June 2018, issue #1











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    Newsletter
    FAO Sierra Leone quarterly newsletter 2017
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    This edition provides an account on the activities and results of the FAO Sierra Leone Representation from January to March 2017. Food insecurity and poverty, a major challenge to meet-ing SDGs target 2.1 in sub-Saharan Africa
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    Project
    Development of Sierra Leone National Irrigation Master Plan - TCP/SIL/3801 2023
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    Sierra Leone possesses several agroecological zones that are well-suited for agricultural activities, extending over a total arable area of 5 400 000 ha, showcasing high potential for production and productivity. The agricultural sector currently contributes to over 45 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), generating self-employment opportunities for a significant portion of the rural population, 75 percent of whom rely on subsistence farming. In spite of the availability of arable land and water resources, irrigation is employed on less than 0.05 percent of the nation's arable land. As a result, crop production throughout the country heavily depends on rain, leading to a primarily primitive agricultural system that lacks significant implementation of good agricultural practices. Farmers, especially smallholder farmers, are engaged in agricultural activities with minimal output compared to other countries. During the 1970s, Sierra Leone thrived as a food exporter, particularly rice, supplying neighbouring countries such as Guinea and Liberia. However, the current situation has shifted dramatically, and the country has transitioned into a significant importer of food commodities, including its staple food, rice. The annual importation of rice alone exceeds USD 200 million.
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    Project
    Support to Sierra Leone for Review of Cattle Settlement Policy, Protection of Livelihood Assets through Livestock Vaccination and Improving Food Security During Covid-19 Pandemic - TCP/SIL/3806 2023
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    Conflicts between farmers and herders are a cause for concern and a security threat in Sierra Leone. The driving force behind these clashes, which often result in destruction of property and loss of life, is competition for available resources, particularly grazing and arable land. In an effort to address these widespread conflicts, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) developed and adopted a Cattle Settlement Policy (CSP) in 2013. The CSP was intended to provide the necessary guidance to tackle issues related to conflicts between crop farmers and pastoralists. However, during the implementation process, it became clear that gaps in the policy hindered its effective enforcement. Assistance was therefore needed to review the CSP and adequately address these loopholes in order to gain broad support from all stakeholders. In addition to cattle, small ruminants are an alternative source of income for livestock owners. They require less pasture, reproduce faster and act as a safety net for livestock owners. Small ruminants in Sierra Leone are typical West African dwarf breeds, well adapted to their environment, but not economically profitable compared to breeds in other countries. To improve livestock production and productivity, the project proposed the introduction of improved small ruminant breeds in two pilot districts (Kambia and Koinadugu).

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