Sierra Leone is located in West Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean with Guinea to its north. The country’s total land area is 71,740 sq km, and is comparatively slightly larger than Ireland, and about the size of the state of South Carolina in the U.S. Its climate is tropical with dry winters and wet summers. Of the total land area, only eight percent is utilized for cultivated crops, while another one percent supports permanent crops such as fruit- and nut-bearing trees. Environmental issues include rapid population growth pressuring the environment, over-harvesting of timber and overgrazing. Slash-and-burn agriculture has resulted in deforestation and soil depletion, and is a major ongoing concern. The country’s population is approximately 5.1 million, with 70 percent of the country’s inhabitants living in poverty, and nearly half of the working-age population engaged in subsistence agriculture. Sierra Leone’s physical and social infrastructure is not well-developed, and social disorder continues to hamper economic development. Manufacturing consists primarily of raw materials processing and light manufacturing for the domestic market. Diamond mining remains the major source of hard currency earnings, accounting for nearly half of the country’s exports. Sierra Leone’s agricultural products include rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil and peanuts. The North and West Africa Division is responsible for IFDC activities in Sierra Leone.
Current IFDC Projects in Sierra Leone
- Marketing Inputs Regionally (MIR Plus), 2009-2013
MIR Plus is improving policy and regulatory environments in the 15 nations of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS). The project is increasing the use and efficiency of agro-inputs, improving the availability of technical and market information and using technology to link producers’ organizations with agro-dealers. The project links 2.23 million farmers to agro-dealers who will help train and supply the farmers. The project should increase maize and rain-fed rice yields by 20 percent for targeted farmers in Ghana and Nigeria, and increase irrigated rice yields in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone by 20 percent.
DONORS: Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
Recent IFDC Projects in Sierra Leone
- Marketing Inputs Regionally (MIR), 2002-2008
The MIR project increased the affordability and accessibility of quality inputs for targeted smallholders in West Africa, and provided technical support and training for farmers and dealers. MIR developed regional and national regulatory frameworks, supported the advancement of farmer and agro-dealer associations, facilitated dialogue along the value chain and implemented sustainable development of the cotton agro-input sub-sector.
DONOR: The Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
Sierra Leone Information
Sierra Leone Articles
MIR Plus (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No. 2)