The Agribusiness Working Group was established in January 2011 with the objective of addressing the bottlenecks inherent in the agricultural sector through consistent and productive dialogue among stakeholders, with the ultimate aim of stimulating growth in the sector and facilitating employment and poverty reduction in the country. The specific objectives of the Working Group are as follows: Create awareness about the pivotal role of agribusiness in the sustainable economic development in Sierra Leone. This includes creating awareness that farming is a business. Promote information networks among stakeholders regarding identification of market opportunities for producers. Revitalize and strengthen existing relevant frameworks and associations for the promotion of agribusiness activities in Sierra Leone. Identify and discuss the key constraints impeding private sector involvement in agribusiness. Promote the development of markets and the commercialization of agricultural output in Sierra Leone. Membership of the Agribusiness Working Group comprises key private sector stakeholders, officials from relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, farmers’ associations and civil society groups. In March 2011, the Agribusiness Working Group hosted a one-day seminar on the topic “The Role of Agribusiness in Private Sector Development” at the Atlantic Hall, National Stadium. The purpose of the seminar was to provide participants the forum to discuss the opportunities and constraints for growth of the Sierra Leone private sector and how agribusiness can contribute meaningfully to its growth. Furthermore, the seminar provided an opportunity for key stakeholders to present what their respective institutions have been doing in the agricultural sector in the recent past to enhance its development. A report of the seminar containing a list of recommendations made has been compiled and disseminated to the relevant authorities for appropriate action. The seminar brought together some forty-five participants from the private and public sectors, farmers’ federation, agricultural organisations and institutions, banks, as well as representatives from our development partners.
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