Recovering from the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone: FAO boosts support to the Holima Agribusiness Centre

Recovering from the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone: FAO boosts support to the Holima Agribusiness Centre

13/05/2015

On 9th May 2015, Dr. Gabriel Rugalema, FAO Representative in Sierra Leone, handed over building materials for the construction of a poultry breeding farm to members of the Holima Agriculture Business Centre in Fengehun Village, Bo District. 

The construction of this farm is part of FAO’s continued support to the Ebola recovery process. Following the impact of the outbreak on rural livelihoods, the aim is to support agricultural production and promote added value to enhance income generation and a better access to food.

Delivering the materials, Dr. Rugalema expressed satisfaction over the Centre’s productiveness in the past years and the courage of its members who maintained their farming activities despite the devastating Ebola disease situation in the country. He expressed FAO’s commitment to transform the lives of farming population, for which FAO teams are working hard to capacitate both men and women to engage in business oriented farming: “Every cent we bring is an investment for this community. We expect you to multiply them so that you earn enough money to send your children to school, who will in turn bring development to this community.” he entreated the farmers.

Mariama Koroma, Chairlady of Holima Agribusiness Centre, expressed gratitude to FAO for this support that meets their needs and aspiration. Indeed she revealed that the community has long been yearning to breed poultry because of its essence for both income generation and as a source of protein in their food intake.  

Mariama maintained that the poultry farming will greatly help them to recover from the economic losses caused by the Ebola outbreak. “We are very hopeful that the Ebola disease will be eradicated and the ban on periodic markets will be lifted so that we can sell the layers to increase our income” she stated.

She promised that her membership will work hard to ensure that all conditions are met to ensure productivity. She explained for example that the Centre will always have rice-brand to feed the chickens as it runs a milling site. Members will also plant corn to feed the layers.

The Holima Agribusiness Centre comprises eight Farmer Based Organizations whose members live in several villages of the Kakua Chiefdom, all depending on agriculture for their livelihood and the sustenance of their families.

FAO will procure five hundred layers as a starter for the Holima Poultry farm. With FAO’s support, two members of the Centre have already been trained in good poultry management and acquired specific skills in food mixture, right feeding measurement, disease prevention and sanitary measures, vaccination, egg collection and handling.

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Source : Fao