Agricultural Projects

Saatgutprojekt mit Frauenvereinigung in Kabala

Im Jahr 2020 konnte GreenRise in Kabala, Koinadugu, 750 Bäuerinnen und ihre Kinder mit Gemüsesaatgut unterstützen

In Zusammenarbeit mit der "Women Farmers Collaborative Koinadugu", eine Vereinigung aus Bäuerinnen im Norden Sierra Leones, konnte GreenRise rund 750 Frauen und Kinder mit Gemüsesaatgut unterstützen. Das ist eine wichtige Sache, denn Frauen und Kinder werden von der großen Armut im ländlichen Sierra Leone oft besonders hart getroffen. Das liegt vor allem daran, dass Frauen in Sierra Leone kein eigenes Land besitzen dürfen und für dessen Bewirtschaftung auf die Zustimmung der Männer angewiesen sind.

Umso glücklicher sind wir nun, dass wir im Distrikt Koinadugu im Norden Sierra Leones die Situation von 750 Frauen und ihren Kindern verbessern können. Nach der Finanzierung und Bereitstellung des Saatguts konnten von den Frauen Karotten, Radieschen, Paprika und Wassermelonen geerntet werden. Auch Auberginen und Kohl wurden bereits geerntet. Die reiche Gemüseernte soll in den abgelegenen Dörfern nicht nur die Ernährungssituation, sondern auch das Einkommen der Familien verbessern. Das gelingt, in dem die Bäuerinnen den Überschuss der Ernten auf den lokalen Märkten verkaufen. Mit diesem Geld können sie dann für die Schulbildung und Versorgung ihrer Kinder aufkommen.

 

Das Motto „Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe“ möchten wir so mit Leben füllen und regen die Frauen an, selbst aktiv zu werden und ihr Schicksal in die eigene Hand zu nehmen. Die Freude und Dankbarkeit der Frauen war in den letzten Monaten groß, und dieser Dank gilt allen unseren Unterstützern!

Haja Sundu Marrah, die Koordinatorin des Saatgutprojekts vor Ort, präsentiert die frisch geernteten Auberginen

Tom, Mitgründer von GreenRise, mit einen Teil des Gemüsesaatgut vor dem Transport nach Sierra Leone

Background Info on Agriculture in Sierra Leone

Most Sierra Leoneans are smallholder farmers who engage in subsistence agriculture. This means they only live off what they grow on their fields, barely having any commercial revenues. Without paid work, work and health insurances or pensions they lack all kinds of securities. While the only security they have is their land, this often is not enough to make sure farmer families get by. The majority of them lives in severe poverty. In case of drought farmers’ harvests dry up on the field and their families, not having any emergency savings, will go hungry. If farmers lack seeds to grow vegetables and fruits their children are fed only with rice which increases their risk of going blind as a consequence of lack of vitamins. Under these circumstances, even with hard work parents are often unable to care for their families.

Rural Life is Difficult in Sierra Leone

Africa offers an immense agricultural potential due to millions of hectares of fertile soils lying fallow.

A few million Sierra Leoneans could actually be a lot better off, as Sierra Leone’s climate and soils hold great potential for smallholders to care well for their families. GreenRise empowers them to tap the natural wealth of their country sustainably. What is needed most for them to be able to do that, is agricultural machinery and know-how about the best techniques to cultivate their land more productively. We enable farmers to make the step from mere subsistence agriculture to commercial farming by providing small tractors, palm oil presses and seeds. Thus, instead of consuming the entire produce themselves, farmer families can sell a surplus on local markets and earn their own revenues. This way, they can create development in many other sectors such as health and education.

 
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Raja is 35 years old and a mother of two boys. Her husband is sick and needs medical treatment which the family cannot afford. In April, Raja burned down the piece of forest (see picture 4 above) and collected to charred pieces of wood to sell as firewood. She needs to plough and prepare the land quickly because as soon as the rains set in, she and her children will plant rice and cassava. Because of the recent burning of the field, the ashes now provide the soil with sufficient nutrients to make sure the harvest sustains Raja, her husband and their children. Yet, the soil will be mostly depleted already by next year, and Raja will be forced to move on and burn down another piece of forest to sustain her family.

Project: Improved Rice Cultivation, Pujehun

GreenRise finances small tractors to facilitate rice cultivation

Woman harvesting rice with manual tools

In April and Mai `18 GreenRise discussed development projects with local NGOs.  In Southern Sierra Leone a local NGO, the Pujehun Youth Development Organisation, provides tractors against a cost-covering fee to smallholder families. The area has abundant fertile grasslands, and the families are able to multiply their income by many times. Yet, the organisation is the only one providing such a service to farmers and it disposes of only three small tractors. Thus, in the region, most farmers and their families still live in poverty and fight for their survival by engaging in arduous manual field work.

 

A few thousand hectares of fertile soils lie fallow in the surroundings of Pujehun. We are working towards providing seeds and small tractors to provide more farmers such as Raja, her husband and their children with a chance to exit extreme poverty. 

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The mere physical labour we dispose of is not enough to cultivate bigger areas. If we had some machinery, we could earn more from agriculture, and we wouldn’t be dependent on our children for their labour. Our climate (Pujehun, Southern Sierra Leone) is good for rice cultivation. But instead of eating mostly only rice, with higher revenues from agriculture we can also buy vegetables and fish for our children.

 

Picture: Pujehun, Village Chief

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