The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) through the support of the Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP) in September 2022 conducted training in Bo, Kenema, Makeni, and Kambia Districts on Market Linkages for farmers who had benefitted from the Agricultural Services Matching Grant (ASMG), the Sierra Leone Agribusiness Development Fund (SLADF) and other farmers across the country.

The training targeted agribusinesses, producer organizations, farmer-based organizations, off-takers, and marketing companies in four key value chains thus, rice, cocoa, oil palm, and poultry producers. Its objective was to create linkages between buyers and sellers in both local and international markets; increasing the capacity of agribusinesses and cooperatives and further encouraging producers to develop effective market linkage strategies for the sale of their products.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, elaborated on the importance of the training and its impact on the livelihood of the beneficiaries and the growth of the country’s economy.

Market linkage, he said, does not only create both local and international access to Marthe ket, but also, increases marketing experience, productivity, and employment. He encouraged farmers to work hard to upsurge productivity to prove the country’s export volume and GDP. The CEO ended by committing SLIEPA’S continuous commitment to the Government’s priority areas of investment and export.

The farmers were thankful for the unique opportunity, especially interfacing with those off-takers of different agricultural products. They thanked SLIEPA, SCADeP, and their development partners for always supporting them with new farming and marketing techniques.

Major off-takers like World Food Program (WFP), Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company (SLPMC), Nedoil, Goldtree, notable hotels, and guesthouses were invited to participate in the training. They were taught key topics including Types of Market Linkage, identifying Profitable Markets, Strategies for Identifying Markets, Concepts of Value Chain, Export Financing, Trade Fairs, etc.