Map of Sierra Leone

Agriculture and Food Security

Improving Fish farming in Sierra Leone.
Inland fish-farming for business is a new notion for many in Sierra Leone. The USAID-funded Feed the Future Scaling Up Aquaculture Production (SAP) project has worked to diffuse this concept widely in the country.
Ousmane Condé, USAID

USAID supports integrated agriculture-aquaculture systems and rice value chain programs to increase private sector investment in agriculture, raise farm household incomes, and improve nutritional status. In addition to supporting activities to improve food access for vulnerable households and communities recovering from the shock of Ebola, USAID also supports: community-based savings and loans schemes, linking farmers to microfinance institutions, providing innovative grants to small and medium sized enterprises, strengthening linkages between farmers and markets, and providing business training to producer associations. Women and youth are both beneficiaries and partners in these interventions.

Agriculture (including forestry and fisheries) is the mainstay of the Sierra Leonean economy employing over 60 percent of the labor force mostly at the subsistence level. Rice and cassava are staple foods of the country, while cocoa, coffee, oil palm, and cashew nuts 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, which in turn has undermined sustainable agricultural development in the country.

The Feed the Future Sierra Leone Scaling up Aquaculture Production (SAP) project, funded by USAID, supports the development of the aquaculture sector in Sierra Leone to increase fish production and consumption, and increase the incomes of small-scale farmers. The WorldFish led project focuses on Tonkolili District, one of the poorest and nutritionally insecure regions in the country, with a 28.2 percent childhood stunting rate.

The SAP project aims to form 90 cluster farmer groups, totaling 2250 farmers producing 1000 metric tons of tilapia each year over 4 years. This production, alongside improved nutrition-related behaviors and improved awareness of hygiene among women and children, will boost fish consumption to 30 kg per household. A sustainable market chain, bolstered by business-minded farmers who are connected to microfinance institutions and supported by the private sector, will help to increase farmer households’ income by 40 percent. When this activity ends in March 2019, it will be transitioning to SkyFox Ltd, a private investment company. SkyFox will help expand integrated aquaculture and crops production business model in Sierra Leone.

Last updated: August 19, 2019

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