As part of growing efforts to advance the ‘Feed Salone’ initiative, the Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (AVDP) has contracted 44 irrigation technicians to support the Development and Rehabilitation of Inland Valley Swamp (IVS) across Sierra Leone.

According to the Project Manager, Monica Kwame-Greene, the support is in line with achieving one of AVDP’s key mandates of increasing rice production and productivity as well as supporting farmers in cocoa, oil palm and vegetable production and cultivation.

The 44 hired technicians completed five days orientation and training exercise at the regional office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Bo city.
Most of these young people including women and men were previously volunteers in IVS development and rehabilitation under the ministry. The newly recruited staff are being deployed in the various IVS communities and locations in the northeast, east, south and northwest.

While encouraging them to be prudent in their deliverables relating to bonds and canal constructions, maintaining drains and other water management techniques, the Manager explained that the staff were recruited through a rigorous process of competency-based assessment and examination to determine the ability of the candidates on how to support local farmers to increase rice production in clustered communities in the four regions of Sierra Leone.

The project is implemented by MAFS and funded by IFAD and the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) serving as one of the key drivers of the ‘Feed Salone’ agenda.
Other than providing support to the agriculture sector, the employment of the 44 individuals will also serve as job creation for young people who make up the bulk of the country’s population.

The Director of the Agricultural Engineering Division at MAFS, Ishmiel Tarawallie, referred to the IVS technicians as ambassadors in agricultural technology transfer to our local farmers with the AVDP and MAFS poised to change the narrative of increasing rice production thereby minimizing rice importation into the country. A certification session by the Project Manager climaxed the five days meeting.