Agriculture is believed to be the backbone of Sierra Leone’s economy. Well so it has been until it started to crumble during the war. Ever since, the sector has faced a lot of difficulty in trying to get to its former glory. There were problems everywhere. It is very important to note that problems preventing development in this sector may vary in different areas in the country but programmes involving participation and community decision-making have proven very important to help farmers and other stakeholders make the right decision concerning their agricultural activities.
Contributing factors such as migration from the rural communities where farming was the major source of livelihood still remain a challenge. Also poor infrastructure and limited service provision in the rural communities is another limiting factor for standard agricultural development.
For more than a decade, youths development has been part of the government’s priorities to boost the agricultural sector. It has initiated programmes and policies that focus on building a formidable and productive youthful society that will contribute to national development. This could be a burden for government to throw all its resources on youth activities that will augment its effort in terms of development. That’s why partners such as UNDP through the National Youth Commission design strategic and innovative programmes that will not only serve as a clue to challenges faced by youths in development but also a remedy to help cure the problems that may tend to stagnate growth.
The agribusiness project was to help promote agricultural development and livelihood security for youths in the Waterloo rural communities. This came about through constant monitoring and evaluation of the BDS and it was observed that some aspects of the BDS could be transformed to Agric business activities.
Therefore, since agribusiness is believed to be all about agricultural production, it was very crucial that youths were educated on the importance of engaging in this type of business; a business that seeks to promote food production in their community.
The overall goals of the projects were to:
- Provide agribusiness management education to youths or young operators interested in farming within the rural community. This included training in livestock production, crop production, financial management and operational management.
- Provide farming, piggery and poultry facilities in Waterloo and Lumpa communities that will eventually cater for youths to form viable organizations that can operate successful commercial activities.