After a decade-long civil war and the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the majority of Sierra Leone’s population live below the poverty line – surviving on less than two dollars per day.
While the country tries to recover, the agricultural sector has experienced a huge decline. Half of the population does not have reliable access to food, and those most severely affected include orphans, Ebola survivors, widows, the elderly, and those living with HIV/AIDS.
Food security in Port Loko
Low agricultural productivity and lack of crop diversification has led to widespread chronic hunger.
Farmers lack reliable access to agricultural inputs such as seed and fertilizer. Limited infrastructure (such as roads) inhibits any efforts to bring crops to market. Past tragedies such as civil war and Ebola still loom in the minds of communities.
Tearfund is working with the local church to train over 300 households in eight different communities in conservation agriculture so they can apply simple, cost-effective agricultural techniques. Farmers also receive small amounts of seed and tools to help them set up their farms. This project encourages crop diversification and nutritional education, helping families eat more well-rounded diets and prevent malnutrition.
- Location: Eight communities in Port Loko District
- Timeframe: 2018-2022
- Funding needed: $660,000
Through this project, over 300 households will gain access to reliable, nutritious food, breaking the cycle of hunger in their communities. Local churches will be encouraged and better equipped to reach out into their communities and share God’s love to their neighbours.
Hope for Port Loko
The combined impacts of civil war and Ebola in Sierra Leone have destroyed rural farming communities. Reduced incomes, lack of food, and poor nutrition have led to extreme poverty.
The tragedies of civil war and Ebola continue to impact communities. Farmers lack reliable access to seed and fertilizer in order to produce crops and make a living. Limited access to roads prevents farmers from being able to sell their crops in markets, and this pushes families further into poverty.
Tearfund is working with the local church to train communities in conservation agriculture so they can apply simple, cost-effective agricultural techniques. Because production continues to increase and the farmers of Port Loko continue to work toward self-sufficiency, economic opportunity, and agricultural sustainability, the demand for cassava processing has grown.
- Location: Port Loko District
- Timeframe: May 2021 – May 2022
- Budget: $25,000
10 additional cassava processing machines will be provided to the 10 farming co-ops in Port Loko. Processing and market training will also be provided to help each group mechanize and modernize their farming practices.