Donor: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Heineken International
Partners: Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute, Common Fund for Commodities
To reduce poverty in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone through increasing agricultural capacity in rural households and limiting the dependency of imported commodities. We aim to rebuild agricultural production and increase food security by linking smallholder farmers to urban markets, restoring essential social services, and rebuilding local community cohesion and infrastructure.
What we do
Sierra Leone is endowed with sufficient arable land with favorable climatic conditions, reasonable access to land, different agro-ecologies suitable for a wide variety of crops, abundant water resources and political commitment for investment in the agricultural sector. Agriculture, including fisheries and forestry, is the mainstay of the economy, contributing about 46% of GDP and providing employment for about 75 percent of the population (with women as the predominant labor force).
EUCORD is partnering with Heineken International and its subsidiaries to assist with the implementation of the Community Revenue Enhancement through Agricultural Technology Extension project otherwise known as CREATE. Support by the Ministry will be used to: (a) integrate groups of smallholder farmers into Heineken’s supply chain; and (b) train these farming families in good agricultural practices. This will not only help substitute imported raw materials by local ones (thereby saving scarce foreign exchange resources) but also help establish local supply chains which will transfer purchasing power from the urban middle class to the rural poor.
Together, Heineken/SLBL and EUCORD will double the sorghum supply by collaborating with four key female farmers’ organizations and their leaders. These female “nucleus farmers” have built a track record in being able to reach isolated farmer groups which consist of 50% female farmers.
Sierra Leone Brewery Limited has actually exceeded its demand for sorghum. Efforts are being made to identify alternative regional/local markets. This situation will persist until the end of 2014, when planned investments related to a mash filter in the Freetown brewery will significantly increase SLBL’s ability to use sorghum both in existing products and for innovations.