9th February, 2016 Holima Town, Bo District, Sierra Leone: Farmers working with the new cassava grater machine at the Holima Agri-business Centre in Bo District.
The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund have reactivated their Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) and this centre have now also a new milling machine.
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 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.