“Agriculture in Sierra Leone is a significant part of the economy of Sierra Leone, with it accounting for 58 percent national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2007. Two-thirds of the population of Sierra Leone are involved in subsistence agriculture. The agricultural sector grew by about 14 percent in 2007, led by crops and five percent in 2008.” [Wikipedia]
In 2004, AYM conducted a feasibility study in Sierra Leone to determine the strategies for the first chapter of the Movement. In addition to other research, the feasibility study concluded that the most significant areas of opportunity in the private sector of Sierra Leone are agriculture and tourism.
Much of the land in Sierra Leone is very fertile, yet foodstuffs are one of the country’s main imported goods. There is a strong need to introduce new vegetables and fruits to Sierra Leone, especially short-duration and high nutrition varieties, so that routine planting will yield continuous produce and improve the population’s overall health.
In launching the Sierra Leone Youth Vegetable Gardens program in 2007, AYM opened three agriculture sites. The sites grew new crops like lettuce, carrots, cabbage, onions, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, green beans, and a wide variety of other vegetables and herbs. The three sites – Mattru Jong, Georma (Jong), and Mobimbi (Imperi) – make up the foundation of AYM’s agricultural program. AYM is using the best practices method to create a comprehensive guide to starting and maintaining new garden projects to spread the programs across Bonthe District 2016.
According to the World Bank, nearly 53% of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day.
UNICEF reported last year that about 34% of the population is physically stunted due to malnutrition.
Rice production has increased by 35%, and cassava and sweet potato production by 34%, while palm oil, coffee, and cocoa have also seen an upswing. [UN Africa Renewal]
Local rice production alone contributes to 75% of agricultural GDP [Report for Food and Agricultural Organisation]