According to BRAC, one of their goals is to reduce poverty by 5% for people living below the national poverty line. At a meeting, it was revealed that the BRAC Sierra Leone livestock project is aimed at benefiting 61,363 people across five districts to improve the economy and livelihood. With 50% of the actual beneficiaries being women, BRAC further stated that the project would increase income for small scale farmers mostly youth and women through sustainable livestock production.
According to Mohamed Alpha Programme Manager for Agriculture, Food Security and Livelihood at BRAC Sierra Leone the five districts where the project will be implemented are; Bonthe, Kailahun, Koinadugu, Pujehun and the Western Area Rural. He added that the household analysis carried out by BRAC discovered that Bonthe, Kailahun and Pujehun are below the poverty line and are desperately suffering from food insecurity.
He further said that even though Koinadugu is known for its crop production and cattle-rearing yet, the district does not have the capacity to produce much while the Western Area Rural on the other hand has limited involvement in the rearing of animals and needs more nutritional support and food security.
The Ministry of Agriculture as the ultimate beneficiary considers the project to be a laudable venture as BRAC Sierra Leone is complementing its effort to fight against poverty and hunger.
Mary Mansaray who is the Agriculture Officer for Bonthe District noted that the ministry would be robust in monitoring especially to prevent duplication of other NGOs doing the same livestock production which would not be tolerated by the ministry.
Mrs. Mansaray however raised concern about the surveillance system as according to her the livestock project can only succeed when the issue of public health is highly considered for animal and human safety. She advised that as BRAC will be implementing the project, there must be community animal health workers trained to give institutional support to the district livestock office. She continued to state that animal-rearing goes along with crop production for their feeding and that this cannot be overemphasized as it contributes to livestock’s healthy growth.
The 1st and 2nd Sustainable Development Goals seek to eradicate Poverty and Hunger. According to Christian Abu-Kpawoh EU Manager for Rural Development in Sierra Leone, Livestock Production is considered to be a huge contributing element to economic development and paving the way out of poverty. He added that in addition to the Ministry Agriculture and Food Security, and the National Authorizing Office, the European Union would ensure effective monitoring is done and sees that BRAC delivers according to planned for the next three years.
It is believed that if the targeted districts optimize their efforts in agriculture, many would be self sufficient and livelihood would be improved.