The Global Challenge, The Local Opportunity
▪ Global population in March estimated at 7.4 billion
▪ Africa has 60% of the planet’s available arable land
▪ Africa has consistently failed to reach its continent-wide agricultural potential
▪ As referenced earlier, Sierra Leone has over 11 million acres of arable land
▪ PROJECT 10,000 can serve to unleash the agricultural and commercial potential of this country
▪ PROJECT 10,000 can empower Sierra Leoneans to use the agricultural potential to spearhead a renewed development and value creation in even remote and challenging environments
Sierra Agra Inc. is currently in the process of applying for grants and matching funds in order to expand our sustainable, positive impact agriculture efforts near Freetown Sierra Leone. Please contact us if you can help us with our grant process.
SAI is seeking to raise $3,000,000 to continue and expand operations at the AFJ processing facility in the country’s only SEZ. Equity capital is needed to ensure the company has the requisite working capital for certifications (Fair Trade, Organic, Rain Forest Alliance), plant audit, spare parts, trucking infrastructure, factory expansion (refrigeration, etc.), vertical expansion of SAI crop management/planting new fruits (tomato and passion fruit) and ongoing support of community and collective farming efforts.
With respect to the agribusiness sector in Sierra Leone, a group of several multi-national agribusinesses, who have collectively committed over US$1 billion to the country, have formed an association - CAPPA. This organization will serve to promote the agribusiness sector in country, as well as serve as an industry collective to ensure an optimal commercial environment for the members. SAI has been invited, and will join the membership in due course. One charter member is Dole. The Dole in-country farming team, having conducted farming research, extensive soil analysis and plant irrigation options over five years, projects a consensus for the commercial agricultural opportunities in that the country with its 300 plus inches of annual rainfall and 11 million acres of arable land, is a virtual greenhouse.
Market and Development Opportunity
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the World by any measurement, but was advancing to a leading GDP position in Africa until the 2014-15 Ebola crisis. Recent studies by USAid and other groups, have identified that the lack of availability to utilize a longer growing season (mainly because of the absence of the adoption of irrigation, despite a significant annual rainfall and water table in most of the country) is a critical reason for the stagnation and, at times, threat to the agricultural economy (itself responsible for over 45% of GDP and 70% of all formal employment). All of this has reinforced a vicious circle of low investment, low economic growth and food insecurity.
At the same time, this relative lack of production and low productivity mean that many private sector businesses (especially in the animal feed, vegetable oil processing and poultry sectors) are unable to grow their offerings as much as the market itself would like. This market restriction leads to great price volatility and ancillary providers (such as transporters, warehouse receipting providers and other input suppliers) who also must manage a condensed production period followed by long periods of significantly lower activity.
Please contact us for more information.