Nyanda Local Market, a bustling enterprise in the heart of Freetown, is more than just a place to buy fresh produce. It’s a testament to the power of women’s empowerment and agricultural innovation, driven by the vision of Madam Bintu Jibao and her organization, Women in Agriculture and Development Sierra Leone (WIAD-SL).
Born from the desire to provide an outlet for WIAD-SL’s agricultural products and support other outgrowers, Nyanda Local Market located at 35 Dundas Street, Freetown has become a beacon of success.
Since its inception in 2018, Madam Bintu has partnered with women in Kailahun district, providing them with seeds, technical assistance, and tools, fostering a collaborative share-harvesting model.
Their efforts have yielded impressive results. WIAD-SL boasts a thriving seed bank and has produced over 1,000 50kg bags of rice, with ambitious plans for further growth. Beyond rice, they cultivate vast cassava plantations, processing the harvest into diverse products like Garri, fufu, and cassava flour, all available at Nyanda Local Market.
The impact extends far beyond economic empowerment. Recognizing the importance of education, WIAD-SL implemented adult literacy programs and even sponsored members to pursue primary and secondary education. One member is even preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, a remarkable achievement.
Nyanda Local Market serves as a sustainable platform for the women’s produce, ensuring fair compensation and inclusivity. It also caters to older women who may not be actively involved in farm work, offering opportunities for all age groups.
A beneficiary expressed gratitude for the initiative, highlighting the acquisition of valuable skills in crop cultivation, especially in growing vegetables that generate income.
Madam Bintu Jibao emphasized that Nyanda Local Market’s registration as an affiliate of WIAD-SL ensures sustainability. The market sells various products produced by the women, supporting those who may no longer engage actively in farm work due to age.
Madam Jibao appealed to the government and other organizations for support, acknowledging the contribution of a few agricultural processing machines provided by the World Bank and SCARDEP. She expressed a commitment to feeding Sierra Leone through their initiative if given the necessary support from the government.
The success of Nyanda Local Market serves as a testament to the transformative impact of empowering women in agriculture, not just economically but also through education and skill development.