Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers

by Seeds for Growth Foundation
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
Food and Income for 500 Sierra Leone Farmers
GlobalGiving field traveler visits Masugba project
GlobalGiving field traveler visits Masugba project

Introduction

Thank you for opening this newsletter! We are very delighted to share some hot news with you.


Fact Finding Trip to Seeds for Growth project.

As announced in our latest newsletter, on Monday June 10th, International charity organization, GlobalGiving, the Office of the Diaspora Affairs of Sierra Leone and the Society for Climate Change Communications conducted a fact-finding trip to Sierra Leone's Malal Chiefdom, visiting the Seeds for Growth project location in Tonkolili district of Sierra Leone.

At a ram-packed meet at Rochen, Pa Alimamy Sanda Bangura, Regent Chief of Malal thanked Seeds for Growth for their support, especially the training and practical help with maize seeds and fertilizer. "If we have more supports like these seeds, fertilizer and tools we can increase our farming activities and use the proceeds to support our children's education."

The team visited Masugbay maize fields and groundnut farm witnessing examples of the good work undertaken by Seeds for Growth boosting nutrition and livelihoods and taking time to talk to some of the women farmers to better understand their challenges.

Speaking directly to the farmers, miss Dalila Sumani, GlobalGiving field tracker, told the assembled throng that Seeds for Growth is doing some really outstanding work in the Chiefdom, saying: "I am really impressed by the work of Seeds for Growth is doing in Malal to impact the lives of farmers so positively."

More details regarding this recent visit will be published in our next newsletter.

 

Action plan summer 2019.

During the next few weeks, we aim to prepare for further project extension to support 175 farmer families by September/October 2019. Therefore we need an additional funds, EUR 5000 / USD 5000 to buy seeds and other materials for the new group of farmers. We hope you will support and donate using this link 

 

Thank you for supporting our cause, we appreciate sharing this news letter in your network!

Ben Bolland, president
Kapri Turay, secretary
Momodu Sheku Kamara, program manager
and more than 125 farmer families 

 

PS: Are you interested in supporting our cause as a volunteer? Please contact us at ben.bolland@bevon.nl 

Alfred Fornah (front) published S4CCC-visit report
Alfred Fornah (front) published S4CCC-visit report
M.S. Kamara in discussion with Rochen community
M.S. Kamara in discussion with Rochen community
miss Dalila Sumani (Global Giving) in Rochen town
miss Dalila Sumani (Global Giving) in Rochen town

Links:

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Happy farmer family, Mabanglol village, march 2019
Happy farmer family, Mabanglol village, march 2019

Introduction

It is about time again for an update of our agricultural project in Sierra Leone. After a flying start in the period from autumn 2016 to the beginning of 2018 and then a stabilization phase, in 2019 we will start again with a new impetus to further professionalize and expand this successful development project.

Since the december 2018 newsletter we have already received approximately EUR 2,000 in donations, thanks to the generous donors!

Challenges occur…

Due to illness of our program manager mr. Momodu Kamara, last January / February he only was able to provide limited support during harvest in january, and the preparations for the start of the spring cropping season.

Luckily the farmers were sufficiently prepared by the previously provided training program, their harvest produce was great and all 125 farmers have started the new, dry cropping season with a mix of, corn, onions, peppers and other vegetables.

GlobalGiving’ Field traveler to visit Project location!

Since spring 2017 Seeds for Growth manages a web-page on crowdfunding platform of GlobalGiving, so we are able to reach out to Sierra Leonean and other interested persons and parties in USA, England and other countries on the globe. Find more: goto.gg/28007  

Recently, we received an offer of GlobalGiving to visit our project in May 2019. Of course we are very excited with their initiative, and want to make this a fruitful and successful meeting.

And of course: we hope this will also give us additional exposure internationally. We 'll keep you informed!

Cropping area, Mabanglol village, march 2019
Cropping area, Mabanglol village, march 2019
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Farmer in Rochen Maize field, november 2018
Farmer in Rochen Maize field, november 2018

After a year of rapid growth in 2017, this year we focused our available time, funds and energy to preserve and stabilize the size and success of the agricultural project for 125 farming families. 

 

A brief summary of the challenges we encountered this year:

  • “army worms” have damaged a part of the cropping areas during spring season.
  • Presidential elections march/april 2018). This led to some political instability during the election months, but fortunately the elections finished relatively peaceful. After the elections, a new president, Mr. Julius Maada Bio took office, which led to various changes in the country policies, indirectly also had an impact on the economy and the existing network of our program manager.
  • Due to defects in Laptop and telecom equipment, the communication between the board-members in the Netherlands and the program manager in Sierra Leone has been very difficult for several months.
  • Due to the limited time available for the 2-persons board, the original growth plans for 2018 have been delayed. The desired expansion of the board to more than 2 people has not yet succeeded.

Despite these practical challenges, our program manager mr. Momodu Sheku Kamara has succeeded in stabilizing the project for the 125 farming families, of which a few dozen participate already for the 5th consecutive time in a cropping cycle.

 

Seeds for Growth strategy

We work with a pragmatic approach in which we offer farmers maize seeds, fertilisers and agriculture expertise as a loan in kind. This approach leads to 60-80 % higher harvest yields, with which they acquire additional income and relieve the loans. So the loans recovery can be used for the next planting season.

 

Year end campaign

Today we start our end of year campaign, to expand the local project with an additional group of 75 farmer families. Therefore we need USD 9,000.- additional funds.We kindly request for your support and donation through

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/seeds-for-growth-feeding-500-farmers-sierra-leone/

Thank you for supporting our cause, we appreciate sharing this news letter in your network!

Ben Bolland, chairman
Kapri Turay, secretary
Momodu Sheku Kamara, program manager
and 125 farmer families

Maze farm near Masheku village, november 2018
Maze farm near Masheku village, november 2018
Farmer in Rochen Maize field, november 2018
Farmer in Rochen Maize field, november 2018
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Affected maize plant, december 2017
Affected maize plant, december 2017

Thank you for opening this newsletter, We are here to inform you on recent challenges we had to overcome since december 2018. But let us start with a bit of history…

October 2017: Project extends from 50 to 125 farmer families.

The aim of Seeds for Growth is to help building a better life within a group of at least 500 farming families (3,000 family members) within 5 years. We want to achieve this by actively supporting farmers with good seeds, other essential means and agricultural practice training.

The recent growth path to 125 farmers was only made possible, with a successful fundraising campaign, carried out during the summer of 2017.

December 2017: A natural disaster…

During this third cropping season a natural disaster occurred: Nation wide, insects have damaged large cropping areas all over Sierra Leone. About 60 of the 125 acres of our project areas were attacked and affected by the so called "army worms": the crops needed to be destructed (burnt down), if chemical spraying was not done within a few days.

To prevent destruction of the crops, we decided to use recently received donations to invest in spraying the affected areas. This was really a difficult decision, because these donations originally were meant for further extension of the project with new farmer families.

But we decided that our only option was to support the current group of 125 farmers, and thus preventing a loss of 50% of the group due to a natural disaster.

By mid january 2018, the spraying seemed to have been successful in killing the insects, and the majority of the crops grew well. At this moment (end of March 2018) we are awaiting for the harvest outcome of the third cropping season.

When the harvest results and the repayments of the loans are sufficiënt we aim to start the fourth cropping season in april/may with the same group of 125 farmers again. Even if not all farmers might have been able to repay their loans, but shared their part of the harvest.

FYI: In the rural areas of Sierra Leone one can not find Insurance companies, that insure these kind of risks.

 

Further outlook for 2018.

Having learned from the recent natural challenges, and the need to build further on a robust organization, the board of Seeds for Growth has decided to stabilize the project, supporting a maximum of 125 farmers during the cropping season until september 2018.

In the meantime we'll start a new fundraising campaign to raise funds for further extension to 200+ farmer families for the cropping season, planned to be started in october 2018.

Thank you for supporting our cause, we appreciate sharing this news letter in your network!

PS: New donations until april 13th of 2018, are eligible for a 50% match by GlobalGiving!

Program manager (left) educates spraying, dec 2017
Program manager (left) educates spraying, dec 2017
Farmer on affected maize field, january 2018
Farmer on affected maize field, january 2018
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Farmers, happy after harvesting, september 2017
Farmers, happy after harvesting, september 2017

Thank you for opening this newsletter, We’d like to inform you on the fantastic development that the Foundation has experienced in this first full calendar year.

Autumn 2016: Thinking Big, but starting small, and learning fast!

Starting microfunding and supporting 20 farmers in September 2016 turned out to be a great success: thanks to a 60-80% higher yield than their "usual" method, the farmers received additional income and all microloans we provided were fully reimbursed.

Soon the first expansion occurred in 2017

Thanks to donations in the last months of 2016, we were able to extend the project size to 50 farmers by March 2017. This second cropping season project was also reasonably successful, although problems occured with long-term and heavy rainfall when drying the harvest.


But not everything worked out as planned ...

In the rural countryside of Sierra Leone the harvest is usually dried on the grounds in the open air, but due to the extraordinary wet season the wet grounds caused slower drying and higher risk of molds and loss of quality.

Adopting the advice of our local program manager, Mr. M.S. Kamara, the board decided to facilitate additionals loans to buy Tarpaulin floors, so the corn could be dried faster and better. Thanks to the fundraising campaign during the summer of 2017, sufficient cash was available to make this possible.


Second extension: from 50 to 125 in October 2017

The aim is to help build a better life within a group of at least 500 farming families (3,000 family members) within 5 years. We want to achieve this by actively supporting them with good seeds, other essential means and agricultural practice training.

For the autumn of 2017 we planned to expand from 50 to 100 farmers. To make this growth path possible, a semi-annual fundraising campaign was carried out during the summer. Thanks to the support of our donors, we have raised more than USD 5500, =!

And we were able to extend the project to 125 farmers in October, thanks to adjusting the field size to the current one acre field size in Sierra Leone (as adviced by the program manager) (1 acre equals approx. 4,000 m2)

 

Next step in 2018: further growth to 225?

The next cropping season will start in March 2018. Many rural farmers would like to participate, which is why we are now striving for expansion with another 100 farmers.

We appreciate your support!

Finally

We hope to keep you informed by this report. If you might have other expectations, do not hesitate to mail us! we welcome your improvement ideas!

Thank you for supporting this initiative
Ben Bolland, Kapri Turay & Momodu Sheku Kamara.
e: ben.bolland@seedsforgrowth.nl

Maize growing on the project field, near Rochen.
Maize growing on the project field, near Rochen.
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Organization Information

Seeds for Growth Foundation

Location: Tilburg, Netherlands - Netherlands
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ben Bolland
ing.
Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
$7,725 raised of $12,000 goal
 
106 donations
$4,275 to go
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