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GoSL, EU, UNDCF officially launch ‘Salone Access to Finance’ Project to Empower Farmers

HomeAgricultureGoSL, EU, UNDCF officially launch 'Salone Access to Finance' Project to Empower...

GoSL, EU, UNDCF officially launch ‘Salone Access to Finance’ Project to Empower Farmers

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The Ministry of Planning and economic Development (MoPED), the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in Sierra Leone have officially launched the project titled ‘Salone Access to Finance’ in Freetown at the Sierra Palm Resort.

Funded under the EU’s Jobs and Growth Programme, this pioneering initiative will improve access to finance over the next five years, contributing to scale up digital financial solutions and piloting insurance to 500,000 low-income farmers, including women, youth entrepreneurs.

At the heart of the ‘Salone Access to Finance’ Project lie four crucial pillars: investment – creating access to credit, insurance – a climate adaptation SafetyNet, digitalization – leveraging technology for service delivery, and the business environment – ensuring proper regulatory and Legal framework. By focusing on these key areas, the project will create new jobs and more economic growth in Sierra Leone.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Henry Musa Kpaka, underlined that the project ‘Salone Access to Finance’ will bolster Sierra Leone’s agriculture, while commending the potential of the project to drive innovation and productivity in the industry.

“Launching the ‘Salone Access to Finance’ Project marks a significant stride in realizing government’s flagship Feed Salone Strategy. This initiative aligns directly with our goals of enhancing financial access for our farmers. It’s a powerful move towards a more productive agricultural sector and enabling farming as a profitable business,” remarked Hon. Dr Henry Musa Kpaka, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.

“The European Union expects that the project’s acts as a catalyzer for growth and development in Sierra Leone. ‘Salone Access to Finance’ is part of the EU Jobs and Growth Programme.  I am confident that the EU funding will contribute to an inclusive socio-economic development of the agriculture sector” stated Manuel Müller, the EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone.”

Dr Ibrahim Stevens, Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone, also highlighted “I am confident that the project will increase financial access in the agriculture sector as a significant step towards financial inclusion and empowerment for a group of people with the highest contribution to the country’s GDP, yet, mostly with the poorest population.”

In his presentation, Dr Mohammad Albatayneh, Country Lead of UNCDF emphasized the organization’s commitment to unlocking impact capital for sustainable development in Sierra Leone.

“UNCDF is proud to collaborate with the European Union on the ‘Salone Access to Finance’ Project, which represents a significant step towards unlocking the economic potential of the country’s agriculture sector. By facilitating access to finance and support Micro, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in critical sectors, we aim to create lasting benefits for the country’s economy and its people,” said Albatayneh.

The EU funded project will leverage the collective expertise, resources, and networks to maximize its impact and reach in Sierra Leone.

 

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