Map of Sierra Leone

Agriculture and Food Security

Women gather around bowls of cassava
Diversifying cassava products helps increase women’s income.

Agriculture (including forestry and fisheries) is the mainstay of the Sierra Leonean economy employing over 60 percent of the labor force mostly of which at subsistence level. Rice and cassava are the key staples, while cocoa, coffee; oil palm and cashew nut are the major cash crops. The agricultural sector is constrained by several factors including lack of improved inputs, labor shortages, and post-harvest losses. Land degradation and deforestation have resulted in declining
soil fertility, undermining sustainable agricultural development in the country.

USAID currently supports integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems and rice value chain programs in Sierra Leone to increase private sector investment in agriculture, raise farm household incomes and improve nutritional status. Besides supporting recovery activities aimed at improving food access for vulnerable households and communities affected by Ebola, USAID also supports community-based savings and loans schemes, provides innovative grants to small and medium sized
enterprises, strengthens linkages between farmers and markets, and provides business training to producer associations. Women and youths are both beneficiaries and partners in these interventions.

Last updated: December 02, 2016

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