Sierra Leone’s agriculture sector continue to be the mainstay of the country’s economy and the largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite its important role, the sector is plagued with rudimentary crop production techniques. This report presents a consultancy that examined the current Extension and Advisory Services in Sierra Leone and proposed an E-extension framework for the provision of extension services for the thousands of farmers that cannot be reached with rudimentary extension techniques.
Sierra Leone’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (MNDP) 2019-2023 identified agriculture including fisheries and forestry as a priority area for growth; with emphasis on increase productivity and commercialization. This is clearly outlined in the four pillars of Sierra Leones’s agricultural development strategy: (a) Agricultural Intensification (b) Crop Diversification (c) Natural Resource Conservation, and (d) Food Safety. The achievement lies largely in strengthening the extension and advisory services (EAS) provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. EAS are the activities that provide the needed information and services to farmers and other actors in rural communities with the aim of developing their technical, organisational and managerial skills and practices to improve their well-being
Boosting Agriculture and Food Security (BAFS) project, which is implemented through the MAF in the 16 districts across the country hired a consultant to develop an E-extension framework for Sierra Leone. This consultancy required the identification of key bottlenecks in the current agricultural extension services delivery system and recommend appropriate approaches to developing a national E-extension framework that will help connect farmers across the country to receive extension services in real time and share knowledge and information that will increase agricultural productivity and facilitate trade. With reference to the Terms of Reference (ToR), the assignment has three specific deliverables.