Urban agriculture with disadvantaged groups in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Jointly with Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI, Italy), the RUAF Foundation implemented the EU-funded project “Enhancing food security and development opportunities for disadvantaged groups in Freetown, Sierra Leone”; the project established youth-led agroenterprises and enhanced food security for most disadvantaged groups through local production of nutritious food. 

Duration: 4 years

Funding: European Union

Partner organisations:

COOPI (Italy, project coordination) and RUAF Foundation (the Netherlands), in cooperation with institutions and organisations involved in the Freetown Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Urban Agriculture and Food Security (including the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security; Freetown City Council; Ministry of Land, Housing and Environment; Ministry of Health and Sanitation; National Association of Farmers in Sierra Leone (NAFSL); Sierra Leone Youth Empowerment Organisation (SLYEO); Njala University; and  other stakeholders).

Activities (implemented by RUAF):

  • Identification and training of stakeholders in youth employment creation in urban agriculture
  • Situation analysis of intra- and periurban agriculture and food production in Makeni
  • Joint visioning and priority-setting concerning youth employment and food-related enterprises in and around Makeni
  • Design, implementation and monitoring of one youth-led agroenterprise demonstration project (participatory market analysis, business planning, capacity development, coaching, monitoring)
  • Support to land-use mapping and zoning of flood zones for urban agriculture

Results obtained (total project):

  • 400 households headed by single women now combine food production with other activities to meet their livelihood needs; 400 other households have engaged successfully in market-oriented horticulture or livestock breeding; 700 unemployed youth are now participating in small-scale agri-food enterprises.
  • Low-income households in Makeni have gained increased access to low-priced fresh and nutritious food, and their vulnerability to shocks has been improved.
  • Relevant local and national authorities, civil society organisations, farmer groups and youth groups improved their coordination and enhanced their capacity to identify and develop solutions to issues of land tenure and agriculture-related job creation in the context of the multi-stakeholder forum on urban agriculture and food security.
  • Flood zones have been earmarked for urban agriculture in the urban land-use plan, thereby reducing the impacts of floods and enhancing local food security