The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has reinforced its commitment to fostering agricultural progress in Sierra Leone through a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture. The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Dr. Simeon Ehui, IITA’s Director-General, and CGIAR Director for Africa, and Hon Henry Musa Kpaka, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Agriculture, signifies a significant step towards scaling innovations and promoting agricultural development in the nation.
One notable initiative under this collaboration is the ENABLE TAAT project, carried out in conjunction with SLARiS and the Ministry of Agriculture. In December, the project successfully executed an extensive training program for 100 youths, aiming to equip them with essential skills in entrepreneurship, business management, and business plan development. The overarching goal is to enhance agricultural productivity, strengthen food security, and unlock agribusiness opportunities across Sierra Leone.
The impact of the training is already evident, as empowered youths are actively establishing viable businesses. These enterprises not only elevate the livelihoods of the youth involved but also contribute to improved food security and the creation of employment opportunities for their peers. In a bid to further support these emerging businesses, ENABLE TAAT is collaborating with Apex Bank in Sierra Leone to provide accessible and affordable finance options.
As Sierra Leone embarks on this transformative journey in agriculture, IITA, through its Youth in Agribusiness office, is positioned to take a lead role in the FEED SALONE Project. This initiative aims to make a tangible and enduring difference in Sierra Leone’s agricultural sector, laying the foundation for a sustainable and prosperous future.
The collaboration between IITA and the Ministry of Agriculture, particularly through initiatives like ENABLE TAAT and the upcoming FEED SALONE Project, showcases a commitment to sustainable agricultural development in Sierra Leone. The focus on empowering youth, fostering entrepreneurship, and providing financial support underscores the potential for positive, lasting impacts on the nation’s agricultural landscape.