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Boosting rice production and productivity in Sierra Leone

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and Vietnam, along with Sierra Leone on 9 June, signed a South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) agreement aimed at developing the rice sector in the African country

The new project has an estimated budget of US$5mn to be implemented through a Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) from Sierra Leone. The tripartite agreement was signed by Abu Bakarr Karim, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security of Sierra Leone, and Saeed Abubakar Bancie, FAO representative in that country. 

The new tripartite project will support diverse actors to increase rice productivity and production through increased access to improved technologies and upscaling of best practices along the rice value chain. Over the course of a four-year project, Vietnam will provide its expertise in rice-value-chain development to Sierra Leone.

Skilled experts and technicians specialised in rice production, irrigation, rice breeding, mechanisation, and post-harvest management will be deployed to various national sites, including research stations. Additionally, capacity-building initiatives such as study tours, field training, and training of trainers will be implemented to empower local stakeholders. This new tripartite agreement is part of the FAO’s strong commitment to broaden its partnership base with diverse groups of countries through SSTC and mobilisation. The countries in the Global South are increasingly recognising SSTC as one of the most efficient delivery modality addressing their needs.

The SSTC Guidelines for Action, a key tool to scale up SSTC technical and financial partnerships in support of agrifood systems transformation, is one of the many ways in which the FAO is spearheading and mainstreaming SSTC. With regards to the development of the rice sector in African countries in particular, the FAO has supported, through SSC, major rice-producing countries such as Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda to address the challenges facing their rice value chains.

Through country-level capacity-building, regional knowledge exchange events and study tours, the FAO has extensively facilitated the sharing of good practices, lessons learned and the dissemination of analysis on rice value chains. In carrying out these functions, the FAO has established strong partnerships with institutions such as the Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), bringing their expertise to the benefit of target beneficiaries.

For more information regarding SSTC, click here.