Community Revenue Enhancement through Agricultural Technology Extension (CREATE)

Country: Sierra Leone
Project details
Services:
Access to finance
Capacity building
Climate-smart agriculture
Enterprise development
Value chain development
Crops:
Cereals
Households reached:
5,200

Community Revenue Enhancement Through Agricultural Technology Extension (CREATE), 2013-2019

Donors: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, HEINEKEN International

Partners: Sierra Leone Brewery Limited, Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), Finance Salone, Genesis Farms

Goal

To reduce poverty in Sierra Leone through increasing agricultural capacity in rural households and limiting the dependency of imported commodities. The project aims 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

EUCORD is partnering with HEINEKEN International and its subsidiary Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (SLBL) to assist with the implementation of the Community Revenue Enhancement through Agricultural Technology Extension project otherwise known as CREATE. Support by the Ministry is used to (a) integrate groups of smallholder farmers into SLBL’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.

Accomplishments

In Sierra Leone, the project was extended following the end of the Ebola crisis to recover momentum and satisfy SLBL’s increasing demand for sorghum. SLBL’s sorghum requirement continues to increase due to volume increases (recovery since Ebola) and investments in the brewery, which allow greater use of sorghum in the beer recipes. The project stepped up efforts to increase per hectare yield through the introduction of improved agronomic practices and the testing of new sorghum varieties. This is done in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Agriculture Research Institute (SLARI), which is conducting on-farm trials to test both exotic and local sorghum varieties. In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) identified sorghum as one of its national priority crops and installed a Sorghum Desk Officer. At District level, collaboration between CREATE’s project team and District Agriculture offices started (e.g. Kono and Port Loko), e.g. on seed distribution, demonstrations and monitoring of sorghum farms.

During the final year of the project; sorghum supply to the brewery increased by 84% compared to the previous year, with 743 tons delivered versus 405 tons.

Other accomplishments of the project in 2019 include:

  1. The project distributed 41 tons of sorghum seed (local white variety) to 7,729 smallholder farmers, planting on 6,068 hectares.
  2. Release of improved sorghum variety "Katic" and several new varieties in the pipeline
  3. Increased recognition by the government of the importance of sorghum as food security crop
  4. An increasing number of semi-commercial sorghum producers willing to grow sorghum because of the food and beverage industry's increasing reliance on locally sourced raw materials