By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)
Solidaridad in Sierra Leone will on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 launch two major initiatives aimed at improving sustainable production of cocoa and oil palm in the country.
The Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP) and the Sustainable West Africa Oil Palm Programme (SWAPP) will support over 45,000 cocoa and oil palm farmers in Sierra Leone to improve their incomes and livelihoods. Moreover, the programmes will facilitate the creation of an enabling policy environment for service delivery to farmers through small and medium enterprises. The cocoa (CORIP) and oil palm (SWAPP) programmes are both funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Accra, Ghana and will run until December 2021.
Solidaridad West Africa is implementing cocoa and oil palm programmes in Sierra Leone guided by the organization’s experience in implementing similar interventions in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria since 2012.
CORIP is centered on the large-scale adoption of the sustainable intensification of cocoa production through improved access to recommended inputs (improved planting material, agro chemicals, fertilizer, crop protection), extension and financial services. This will be done by facilitating the setting up and operation of service delivery enterprises known as the Farmer Support Centre (‘for beteh Cacao and Banga’) in Sierra Leone. This will be pursued by improving access to affordable finance and technical support for the establishment of service centres that will supply farmers with quality inputs and technical services for improved cocoa production.
SWAPP, on the other hand, aims at scaling up sustainable intensification of oil palm production and enhancing mill efficiency for processing of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) into crude palm oil. The programme will achieve this by facilitating access to finance for the establishment and operations of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to provide farm management services, promote investment in efficient palm oil processing mills and build capacity of farmers to adopt Best Management Practices (BMP) on their respective farms.
Both programmes will create opportunities for women and youth to actively participate in efforts to improve their livelihoods.
In Sierra Leone, CORIP is implemented in Kenema, Kailahun and Kono Districts, while SWAPP is implemented in Kenema and Kailahun Districts.
The two programmes are implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and our private sector partners – Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company, Tradin (SL) Ltd, FT Saad and Randlyn Holdings (SL) Ltd.
The launch of CORIP and SWAPP will take place at the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel, Freetown and will be attended by about 200 participants made up of government institutions, smallholder cocoa and oil palm farmers, service providers, development partners, financial institutions the media, among others.
Solidaridad has built a reputation as a catalyzer for sustainable innovations in commodity supply chains in the past 50 years. Their goal is to improve livelihoods for vulnerable producers, while respecting the planet, each other and the next generation. As an international development organization, Solidaridad operates on five continents through eight Regional Expertise Centre’s (RECs) and focuses on producing more with less and ensuring it is done in a way that is good for people and the environment. In West Africa, Solidaridad operates in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. They are currently managing various programmes and projects in sustainable production of cocoa, oil palm, maize and gold in the focus countries.