6th February, 2016, Kabala Town, Koinadugu District, Sierra Leone: Aminata 'Aleli?Bangura, Chairlady of Sorbeh Agri-business Centre talking with the women of the community before going to harvest their cabbage crops. The Sorbeh Agri-business Centre is organized by 15 women farmers groups comprising 25 women each.
In order to help cushion the adverse effect of the Ebola outbreak on the farming communities in the country, the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF) provided timely financing to FAO.
Thanks to these funds, an assessment of randomly sampled Agribusiness Centres (ABCs) was conducted across the country in July 2015 to ascertain the impact of the Ebola outbreak on their farming activities, and identify areas and beneficiaries for immediate support.
The Sorbeh Agribusiness Centre, situated in Kabala Town, Koinadugu District, in the North of Sierra Leone, is one of the 16 ABCs selected for support based on actual needs. The ABC is made up of fifteen farmer organizations with at least twenty-five members in each group, who are mostly women farmers engaged in vegetable and rice farming. Every year, they supply 10.000 kg of rice to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its school feeding project.
The members suffered huge loss during the Ebola outbreak, as their vegetables got perished because of movement restriction. Most of them also couldn??eet their loan commitments due to market disruption and the related loss of income. Faced with this critical situation, the ABC benefitted from 120 million Leones to buy seeds and reactivate their village savings and loans scheme. This support enabled them to buy vegetable seeds
of different varieties, fertilizer, insecticides and sprayers.