Assessing Smallholder Farming and Poverty in Post-Conflict-Sierra Leone
Md. Nur Alam Siddik, Sajal Kabiraj, Joghee Shanmugan, Sesay Kahota

Achieving food security in the world continues to be a challenge. Food insecurity in Africa remains a persistent and daunting challenge in which 230 million Africans constituting 20 percent of the continent’s population are classified as hungry. The challenges will intensify in the coming decades, as Africa’s population, currently growing at 2.5 percent annually, is set to double to two billion by 2050. This situation is the case also for Sierra Leone. By 2050, the population of Sierra Leone is expected to be doubled to 12.4 million people. Smallholder farming might offer a solution to food insecurity through its potential source of increased agricultural production. The study therefore seeks to provide an assessment of smallholder farming in post-conflict Sierra Leone from 2003-2012, within the framework of the production function relation with a view to address food Security concerns in the Country. Findings of the study show that smallholder farmers have been making significant contribution towards food security, economic growth and poverty reduction in Sierra Leone. To maintain this momentum, policy makers including the government and donors should promote the commercialization of smallholder agriculture through increasing productivity intensification, value addition, post-harvest infrastructure and marketing with emphasis in commodity chain, development and institutional strengthening to build self-reliance of farmer-based organizations. On this basis, future study on food security issues is necessary with a view to further provoke policy discourse; such study could be the nexus between the strengthening of Agricultural institutions and Smallholder farming.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jfbm.v3n1a14