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REHOBOTH FOUNDATION’S “A MILLION MEAL PROJECT”

ENDING HUNGER, ONE COMMUNITY AT A TIME.


AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND FOOD SECURITY PROJECT: A ROAD MAP TO COST RECOVERY MECHANICAL RICE/CORN
CULTIVATION IN THE BOLILANDS (FLOOD PLAINS) AND BATILANDS (SUBMERGED REVARIANS) OF SIERRA LEONE

 

BACKGROUND/RATIONALE

Sierra Leone is an agrarian economy but food production remains traditional and subsistence in character, incapable of satisfying the food requirements of the nation by a wide margin, and of improving the living standards of the broad mass of people (some 60 to 70 per cent of the population) who are employed in that sector. In the eastern and south-eastern part of the country where export crops of coffee and cocoa are under rehabilitation in the post conflict transition period, income levels and productivity are much higher than average for the sector. It is in the food-crop sub-sector that poverty is pervasive and this must be modernised if the country is to break away from its present state of deprivation.

A combination of factors was responsible for the difficulties that plagued the economy and society in the post conflict period (1991-2002). These factors can be categorised as poor governance, inappropriate social and economic policies.

Nonetheless, Sierra Leone is well endowed with human and natural resources. The population of about 5.2 million in 2004 is growing at 2.8 per cent per annum. One of the striking features of the population is its youthfulness. The proportion under 15 years is estimated at 45 percent and those less than 50 years at 68 percent. Thus, the human resource base is enormous and provides the impetus and urgency for socio-economic development. However, massive unemployment, underemployment, and chronic poverty depict the Sierra Leone situation. Yet sizeable potential exists for the development of agriculture and the agro-based industries, which is the inspiring vision of this project in the rice bowls of the country Senehun-Gbo bolis in Moyamba and Bo Districts, Gbondapi Bati in Pujehun and Torma Bun Bati in Bo District).

Retrospectively, impressive results can be achieved within a short period through intensification of increased food production in these ecologies with the use of modern mechanical cultivation and adequate food processing, storage and marketing in the changing needs of the farming population in the south-eastern Bolilands of the country.


STRATEGIES TO BE PURSUED
 

The underlying inspiring vision of this project is to promote sustained growth of agricultural output, food security and the reduction of poverty. by involving the community in providing a Million Meal per year for the needy and still generate sufficient incomes for the farmers. The key elements of the strategy therefore, comprise agricultural development in the Bolilands and Batilands of Southern Sierra Leone, especially, the modern mechanical rice, cassava, corn cultivation and other food crops.
 

The project culture focuses on opportunities to expand and diversify improved rice production, generates employment and improves poor people’s access to rice grains and seed rice, the staple food of the country.

In support of these strategies, action would be needed to maintain good policies at the local level, and incentives for target community and partners in the joint management initiative, thus, developing infrastructure; strengthening the local institutions; carrying out a programme of agricultural training, education and field show; and ensuring tight donor co-ordination.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  • To establish 10,000 acres of cultivable Boliland and Batilands for increased rice production in the zones of growth in by 2010 with successive doubling of the production area each year up to 2018 as a means of overcoming the problem of food insecurity even among the vulnerable groups of the country’s population. Providing enough food for the community to eat and sell, and that no one goes to bed without food in our areas of operation.
     

  • To utilize properly the land resources potential of the zones of growth by creating maximum coverage of increased food production in the targeted communities. (farmers cooperate marketing)
     

  • To build partnerships and local linkages among target community for their participation and adoption of “standards of excellence” in the production mechanisms and the changing needs for community development
     

  • To promote self-assisted, self-reliant development in the partnership both locally and internationally in order to derive benefits from the project for sustainable food self-sufficiency and improvement of rural health facilities, education, road construction, rural energy and water supplies.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTION AND COORDINATION

a) LIFE SPAN: The project will last for an initial period of 10 years, cultivating 10,000 acres each year with a possibility of second phase.
 

b) IMPLEMENTING AGENCY: The project will be implemented and managed by Rehoboth Foundation. SLAO and a group of partners including the Food Security Initiative of the Ministry of Agricultural and Food Security (MAFS), the Paramount Chiefs Initiative for Food Security in Bo Moyamba and Pujehun Districts, the Fawundu Foundation for South-eastern Agricultural Development and other private partners.
 

c) EXECUTING UNIT: The overall coordination of the project will be responsibility of the senior management set up and employed by the implementing agency. Top management positions include the General Manager, Assistant Manager and Technical Adviser. While initial cultivable areas of 10,000 acres in 2010 will be divided into four blocks for 4 supervisors, there will be 40 permanent labour force, (10 per block) for the operational period and additional 40 casual labour (10 per block) for seasonal labour activities in the farm.

PROJECT SUSTAINABILITY

The above capacity arrangements and sustainability perspectives will go a long way to enhancing the fruitful visions of the project in the following manner:
 

  • Promotion of community participation to ensure food security at the individual, household and community levels

  • Timely and massive procurement of inputs for the farming operation

  • Provision of logistic support (mobility, incentive, etc.) for the frontline management staff, the supervising personnel and the labour force

  • Sponsoring of field days/demonstration/field visits and exhibitions

  • Central marketing for produce of farmers, this process will encourage quick disposals of crops at competitive market price.

Land for this project already donated
 

 

PROJECT LOG FRAME

Project Objectives

Performance Indicators

Verification Tools

Important Assumption


GOALS

Promote increased food production and make easy its access and timely availability to poor people in a sustainable manner to reduce poverty.

 


Increase in the number of participating farmers through permanent and casual employment facilities.


Increase in accessibility of grain rice as staple food of Sierra Leoneans.

Increase in agricultural production.
 

Increase in accessibility of grain rice as staple food of Sierra Leoneans.

 


Reports and survey from project areas.


External evaluation reports.
 

Annual/quarterly reports.

 


Farmers’ willingness to participate in the program
 

Availability of production inputs.
 

Timely procurement of production inputs.
 

Provision of appropriate logistic to supervising personnel

 


Project Objective


To demonstrate proven crop production technologies with the appropriate target participating community

 



Increase in number of beneficiaries accepting and adopting the technologies.


Increase in the usage of production inputs.


Increase in income of the farming communities of the project area.


Increase in willingness of expansion of the productive acreage

 



Annual/quarterly reports in project areas


Project annual report.


External assessment report.


Improved purchasing power and living standard of beneficiaries.

 



Willingness of the Donor community (local and external NGOs) to support the agricultural project.


Political stability and peace.


Normal weather condition.


Remunerative output prices for target community.


Positive policy environment.

 


Project Component Output


1. Promote and popularize Agricultural Intensification through Boliland and Batiland Mechanical Rice Cultivation in the Rice Bowls of Sierra Leone

 



Number of technology packages to be generated for large scale production


Number of zones of growth established.


Number of local community employed and trained to acquire technological skills.


Number of field days, workshop and tours conducted.


Number of technological adoption promoted.


Quantity and type of improved seeds multiplied and cultivable land expanded.


Number of soil conservation demonstrations set up.


Number of target community trained in conservation tillage technique.


Number of meetings held with policy makers and international agencies involved.

 



Constraints analysis and resolution


Crop assessment report.


Project Food Security annual report.


External evaluation reports.

 



Production input linkages is strong and effective.


Positive response to technology skill training by the target community.

 

2. Community Support for Increased Rice Production, Processing and Marketing

Number of village input dealers.


Number of community trained in agricultural input handling and managerial skills.


Number of farmers’ groups linked to market sources.


Number of drudgery reduction technologies introduced.


Number of farmers’ associations formed.


Number of farmers self-assisted community development initiatives established.
 

Sales records for private enterprises.


Periodic progress reports.


Project’s annual reports.


Community road and health network developed

Market becomes competitive and efficient


Farmers’ willingness to pay and participate in community development initiatives.

3. Capacity Building

Number of trainings organized.


Number of participants in the trainings mobilized.


Number of beneficiaries in University training.


Number of scholarships offered.


Amount of logistical support provided to project staff and target community.


Number of exchange visits by farmer groups.
 

Periodic report assessment.


Project Food Security internal reports.

 Commitment of the part of stakeholders and beneficiaries involved in the planning and implementation of training.

4. Project Management

Project implementation plan prepared.


Establishment of procurement and financial management procedure.


Periodic trips for review arranged.


Donor community and local institution meetings organized.
 

Project Food Security internal report.


Audit report.


Independent evaluation report.

 Competency at Government and District Council levels.

5. Project Sustainability5. Project Sustainability

Number of partners willing to support and sponsor project implementation process.


Partners willing to provide input for the project operation.


Number of logistics (vehicles motorcycles and bicycles) provided.


Number of field days sponsored with Institutions involved.

 

Project Food Security internal report.


Independent evaluation report.

 

 Co-operation from partners both local and international.