The Sierra Leone Chamber for Agribusiness Development (SLeCAD) with funding support from the International Trade Centre (ITC) SheTrades West Africa Project has concluded training in Gender Inclusive Outreach and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for 600 Cashew Farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises and traders.
The objective of the training was to build the skills and improve the knowledge of 600 women and youths cashew value chains farmer, SMEs and Traders in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
The training further identified gender-based constraints, how to address them, raised awareness about those constraints whilst employing best agricultural practices for improved cashew production, harvesting, and post-harvest handling that will facilitate trade and export.
The training was expected to improve on the income of women and youth farmers, SMEs and traders, ensure increased investment, create jobs and wealth and enhance economic growth.
During the launch of the event in Bombali District in March, this year, National Coordinator for the SheTrades West Africa Project in Sierra Leone, Madam Khadija Barrie, said the aim of the project is to improve the position of women in different agricultural value chains across four West Africa countries.
The project, which started in 2019 and ends 2023 will ensure that the skills and knowledge of women are improved in Good Agricultural Practices in cashew farm management, processing, packaging that will enhance jobs and wealth creation goals, improve incomes and ensure inclusive growth.
Madam Khadija further stated that SLeCAD is being the critical partner of ITC SheTrade West Africa to boost the Agricultural sector in Sierra Leone and ensure inclusive opportunities for women and youths.
She informed participants that SLeCAD has a vast knowledge and network working along the agricultural value chains throughout Sierra Leone and that ITC and SLeCAD have developed profile stories of outstanding female agri-entrepreneurs in the cashew sector designed to inspire other women to use existing opportunities in their communities to establish successful and sustainable agribusinesses.
In a virtual interview with the Executive Secretary of SLeCAD, Ahmed Nanoh, he thanked ITC SheTrades West Africa for the support offered to SLeCAD and Sierra Leone in ensuring the capacity building of women and youth cashew farmers in Sierra Leone.
Nanoh stated that the training will improve the skills of the 600 women and youths in agronomy and cashew orchards management; post-harvest management and quality of cashew products; processing and value addition to cashew and -its by-products; market mechanism, nut and kernel market analysis; business relationships between stakeholders; value chain development; economics of cashew farming and processing, self-financing advice; price analysis and price formation; design and production of teaching/training materials as ToTs.
Above all, he confirmed that the training will create awareness to the wider community to recognize women’s economic potential and value for the well-being of households and the community as a whole.
“The training will help to transform the women and youths into good private sector operators, create jobs and wealth, reduce poverty, expand Government’s tax base, improve foreign exchange and enhance overall economic growth,” he said.
Representing SLeCAD at the workshop as a facilitator, Saidu Issa Kamara expressed thanks and appreciations to the International Trade Centre SheTrades West Africa for their support in capacitating the chamber.
“The impact this training will bring to the chamber’s membership cannot be overemphasized as the training methodology and approach are quite special and practical,” he said.