Minister of Agriculture Launches National Action Plan For The UN Decade of Family Farming
Abubakarr Karim, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry on 17th November 2022 at the Sierra Palms Hotel on Aberdeen Beach formally launched the national action plan for the United Nations decade of family farming 2021 – 2030.
The ceremony was graced by various stakeholders in the agricultural sector including the national farmer’s federation, Agricultural District Officer Smallholders farmers with all admitting to have contributed towards the drafting of the document.
The Minister stated that whilst giving his keynote address it is always for him talking about farmers welfare as they are the reason for the existence of his Ministry stating that family farming will be an economic , social cultural and environmental model governed by economic and social relations.
Minister Abubakarr Karim added that with the predominance of agroecology and other sustainable practices of production associated with business management , gender equality ,meaning the recognition og women’s rights and the strengthening of women’s role in family farming and food security will lead to women empowerment which will in turn improve their livelihoods and the sharing of household responsibilities . He said in addition short marketing circuits will be strengthened and women’s and young people’s empowerment in value chains and food security will be boosted.
Saeed A. Bancie Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Sierra Leone who also spoke on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator to Sierra Leone noted that he was gratified by the premium the Ministry of Agriculture places on family farmer stating that the Global Action Plan was launched as a tool to address some of the challenges faced by family farmers and it spans onto 2030.
The FAO Representative said family farming is very important especially at a time after the global crisis which Sierra Leone is not immune to adding that family farming will improve the knowledge input of farmers, and it is with the hope that it promotes political commitment.
He said when this is achieved, it will increase the availability of food system which in turn can offer new economic opportunities and increase urban rural lineages . He ended by stating that the FOA is committed in assisting government towards achieving such a dream.
The grey areas he noted that need to be addressed are the action plan should have a strong political leadership to succeed, it should be inclusive of small holders through business models since market remains a big challenge for their products, it should strive to promote sustainability standards for farmers along the value chain and to share knowledge , experience and that procufement should involve the farmers and finally to develop a national action plan.
Dr, Mohamed Agiba Sheriff Director of Agriculture who chaired the ceremony stated that Sierra Leone has to domesticate that action plan after it has been finalized as it will contribute to food self-sufficiency and that they have come a very long way to making this a reality and was happy that the representative was all encompassing including academic, CSO, media researchers among others after series of consultations with the launching to be followed by popularization and implementation of the plan