The rice sector in Sierra Leone is set to benefit from a 5 million US Dollars investment by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Vietnam.

The project is reportedly geared towards the development of the rice sector throughout the country.

The money is said to be from the Unilateral Trust Fund (UTF) and will be implemented with the use of improved technologies and international best practice.

The agreement was signed by Abubakarr Karim, Minister of Agriculture and FAO representative, Saeed Abubakar Bancie.

The project will last for four years and FAO said it will benefit diverse sector and actors to improve productivity.

Minister Karim appreciated the Vietnam Government for their magnanimity in providing technical assistance through the FAO Southern Asia Cooperation.

The fund will also be used to bring in experts in rice technology as well as irrigation and rice breeding.

Rice is Sierra Leone’s staple food with the country spending huge amount of money in importation.

According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), Sierra Leone spent 130 million US Dollars in rice importation in 2021 with the bulk of it on rice from China.

The country is reported to have been large exporter of rice but is currently ranked 144 in list of countries that export rice. OEC said they earned a meagre sum of 17.8 thousand US Dollars.