The Government of Sierra Leone through the ministry of agriculture and food security has received 5,000 metric tons of fertilizer and 50% will be distributed across the agricultural districts to farmers for the 2023 planting season.

This was made known in a press release form the ministry on the 22nd August, 2023.

The release reads; The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) wishes to inform the public that it is in receipt of five thousand metric tons (5.000mt)- approximately 100,000 of 50kg bags of Di-ammonium Phosphate fertilizer (DAP) which was donated to the Government and people of Sierra Leone by Office Cherifien des Phosphate Group (OCP) based in Morocco in December 2022.

Upon the arrival of the said fertilizer, Cabinet was duly informed of the kind gesture by OCP Group. Cabinet approved the distribution of fifty percent (50%) which amounts to two thousand, five hundred metric tons (2.500mt) of the said fertilizers to be distributed across the agricultural districts to farmers for the 2023 planting season.

The Ministry in readiness for the distribution of the said fertilizers, has established a set of guidelines and procedures for the eligibility of farmers to benefit from this donation.

Guidelines and Application Procedure:

Application at District Offices: All farmers (large or small scale) must apply through the Ministry’s district offices in their area of operation by filling out a fertilizer application form provided by the District Agriculture Officer (DAO).

ย Endorsement and Transfer: Once forms are completed and submitted, the DAO in the various districts will officially endorse and transfer application to the Ministry’s headquarters.

Evaluation Committee: A dedicated evaluation committee for the distribution of these fertilizers will assess each application and issue its approval based on the authenticity of the documents received.

Allocation to Large Scale Farmers: The quantity of fertilizer received by large farmers depends on the size and type of crops they cultivate.

ย Allocation to Smallholder Farmers: Eligible small-scale farmers will receive seven (7) bags of fertilizers per hectare.

Using these criteria, the Ministry has already distributed 29,000 bags to large farmers across all districts. Approximately 20,000 bags are being reserved for smallholder farmers. Large-Scale farmers are responsible for logistical requirements to transport fertilizer allocated to them from the MAFS Freetown (Kissy) store.

To aid smallholder farmers to collect fertilizer from the Kissy Store, the Government has prearranged with the Military to provide 14 trucks for the transportation to the various districts. Smallholder farmers with successful applications for the fertilizers are encouraged to mobilize themselves to provide fuel for the transportation of the fertilizer.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security would like to underscore that the Government of Sierra Leone no longer engages in the procurement of fertilizer for distribution as a policy measure. This fertilizer distribution should also be clearly distinguished from the ongoing distribution of NPK 15 15 15 fertilizer, which is carried out by the World Bank-funded Project – Food Security Resilience Project (FSRP) – aimed at supporting vulnerable farmers.

The Ministry continues to assure the public on its commitments to make Sierra Leone a food self-sufficient nation.