Accoding to bank provided information, the Sierra Leone Rice Agro-Industrial Cluster (SL RAIC) Project, in the rural floodplain areas of Pujehun and Bonthe Districts of Sierra Leone, will help advance GoSL’s renewed commitment to sustainably transform the agricultural sector, under its New Direction Agenda and the National Agricultural Transformation Program (NAT 2023). The SL RAIC project is needed to address a major and traditional production challenge of reliance on floating rice cultivation in one of SL’s major rice production areas by introducing solutions that allow for dry-season, modern cultivation and processing of quality rice. The key expected outputs of the Project include more than 3-fold per hectare, increase in Rice production figures (currently 1-5-2.0 tons/ha), commercialisation of rice production and increased wealth for rice producing communities. The SL RAIC Project will be implemented over five years at a total cost of UA 23.29 million.
The goal of the Rice Agro-Industrial Cluster Project (RAIC) is to contribute to rice self-sufficiency in Sierra Leone and improve the livelihoods of rural households. The specific objectives are to: (i) increase the productivity and production of rice by providing farmers access to quality inputs, land and water management, mechanization and extension services; (ii) improve the value chain through the processing of high-quality rice; (iii) promoting the consumption and marketing of locally processed rice.
The direct beneficiaries of the Project are the estimated 35,000 active smallholder farmers and other SME operators along the rice value chain in the Project area. It is expected that this Model project will be expanded into other SL rice production clusters, for a wider impact. Farmers will experience a demand-driven multiple increase in rice yields through input support via linkages to large scale operators, targeted and demand-driven skills development and entrepreneurship support, and the provision of enabling infrastructure and common user facilities. Rice processors will have access to modern processing facilities and methodologies. Arranged marketing channels are expected to guarantee overall wealth creation, food and nutrition security, poverty reduction, and improved livelihoods for the farming communities and their households. Women and youth are specifically targeted to increase their participation and benefits from the project especially through the sustainable creation of jobs.
Name EGHAN Mark
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