IOM/SLeCAD Capacitate Farmers in Sierra Leone

L-R Ahmed Nanoh (Executive Sec. SLeCAD), Abdul Conteh (IOM/TRQN), Noellen Barber (SLeCAD Consultant), Ernest Smith (IOM/TRQN) and William V. Clarkson (IOM/TRQN

The Sierra Leone Chamber of Agribusiness Development (SLeCAD) in collaboration with IOM Netherlands has concluded a three weeks training in Business Development, Communication Management and Web Management skills for farmer organizations in the Western Area on Thursday 15th March 2012.

The trainings were conducted by three resource persons from the Netherlands under the TRQN (Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals) project which is an initiative of IOM (International Organization for Migration) Netherlands funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry aimed at strengthening institutional capacities in Sierra Leone through the deployment of Sierra Leonean experts in the Netherlands as resource persons. The resource persons are: Mr William Clarkson, Mr Abdul Conteh and Mr Ernest Smith specialising in Business Development, Communication Management and Web design and Web management respectively.

Among many others, the objectives of the training were to: improve the business and entrepreneurship skills of farmers in order to be able to run profitable businesses, to enhance the strategic use of information and communication in agribusiness development and to link farmers to the information superhighway through web development and web management.

In the pursuit of these objectives, the three weeks intensive training helped 20 participants from various farmer organizations to understand how to develop a business plan, how to run profitable, successful and sustainable businesses in their communities and how to develop a marketing communication plan. The training also helped participants to learn how to develop and manage a website.

At the end of the training sessions, trainees expressed satisfaction that the materials were simple and readable in order to enable them to understand and digest for the improvement of their businesses. They also expressed appreciation to SLeCAD and IOM for affording them the opportunity to learn new skills that are crucial for the development of their businesses.

In a brief interview, the Executive Secretary of SLeCAD Mr Ahmed Nanoh told SLV that his organization together with partners (including IOM, UNIDO, FAO, IITA, PAGE, CARE, and IFAD) is determined to fight poverty as well as promote the expansion of local and international value chains through the generation of appropriate skills and technologies so that farmers can improve their productivity and production to create jobs and income. Mr Nanoh said this is just the beginning and there are many more capacity building exercises for farmers to come.

The three Resource Persons expressed gratitude to IOM Netherlands for giving them the opportunity to make valuable contributions towards the development of their country and pleaded with trainees to ensure that they pass on this knowledge to their fellow countrymen so that Sierra Leone can benefit.

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