Assistance through the Trust Fund for Human Security for supporting poor farmers in Sierra Leone by the dissemination of New Rice for Africa (NERICA)
October 4, 2004
- On October 4 (Monday), the Government of Japan and the United Nations (UN) decided to extend assistance of a total of 923,010.00 US dollars (approximately 100 million yen) through the Trust Fund for Human Security for the program "Dissemination of NERICA and Improved Rice Production Systems to Reduce Food Deficit and Improve Farmers' Income in Sierra Leone" to be implemented in the Republic of Sierra Leone by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
- This project aims at assisting poor farmers and their communities in Sierra Leone through the dissemination of NERICA Rice and improved rice production technologies by increasing food security and income of farmers. Activities included in this project are as follows:
(1) Organizing three regional workshops to raise awareness and encourage participation of all stakeholders concerned; (2) Carrying out training of 1,500 farmers involving local communities and farmers' associations; (3) Rehabilitating the production base of resettled farmers in 120 ha of abandoned swamps as a pilot scheme by organizing training sessions on the improvement of land and water systems; (4) Increasing the technical and managerial capacity of at least 36 extension workers, subject matter specialists on rice integrated crop management;
- This project is expected to assist in enhancing of agricultural productivity of poor farmers in Sierra Leone, which will consequently reduce malnutrition and poverty in the country.
- The Trust Fund for Human Security was established in the UN Secretariat in March 1999 by the initiative of the Government of Japan, with total contributions of 25.9 billion yen (approximately US$ 227 million) up to the present. The Trust Fund has assisted numerous projects of UN agencies that address various threats against human life, livelihood and dignity, from the perspective of Human Security.
- NERICA (New Rice for Africa) is a new promising African upland rice species developed through crossing African rice species-resistant to disease and drought-and Asian rice species-with high yield potential. West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) succeeded in the development of NERICA in 1994 in order to address a continuous food shortage due to low agricultural production and increased population in the region.
- In the Republic of Sierra Leone, the national dispute that continued for more than 10 years ended due to the Lome Peace Agreement in 1999 and the deployment of UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). President Kabbah was elected peacefully in May 2002 and the country is working towards its consolidation of peace and national reconstruction.
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