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
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.
To allow CREATE to play a significant role in Sierra Leone’s economic recovery following the end of the Ebola virus epidemic, the project was relaunched in December 2015 to re-establish momentum and extended until December 2019 to give sufficient time for its interventions to become sustainably embedded in the country
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 is stepping 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.
Sorghum supply to the brewery improved in 2018 compared to the previous year, with 402 MT delivered versus 43 MT last year.
Some of the accomplishments of the project are:
- In 2018 the project distributed 20 tons of seed (local white variety) planted on 2,678 hectares involving 5,091 smallholder farmers.
- Training on business development was also completed involving 25 nucleus farmers or their representatives.
- Pre-planting training was done in May 2018 and pre-harvest training was done in December 2018.
- In 2018/19, demonstrations were conducted on Katic, a purified local sorghum variety developed by Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI). Its yield potential grown as mixed crop is 500 kg/ha and 1,200 kg/ha grown as sole crop.