Nelly Bassily | March 30, 2009
“Agriculture is the gateway to bringing development and driving [out] hunger in any country,” stated Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food Security in January. As the global recession and dwindling reserves are causing the collapse of Sierra Leone’s diamond industry, many citizens of the formerly diamond-rich Kono District agree that farming is the future. In fact, the re-establishment of agriculture is always vitally important to rebuilding a country following a conflict.
The following FRW stories look at other examples of re-establishing farm-based livelihoods following conflict:
-“Group marketing restores farmer profits after conflict” (FRW#48, December 2008)
-“A country that loves fish rebuilds its fishing industry” (FRW#34, August 2008)
-“Cocoa farmers supported to rebuild livelihoods following civil war” (FRW#32, August 2008)
-“Civil war landmines threaten returning farmers” (FRW#14, March 2008)
-“Reintegration of ex-combatants through agriculture” (FRW#10, February 2008)
-“Farmers rebuild agriculture sector against the odds” (FRW#9, February 2008)
While this story offers a new perspective on post-conflict agricultural revival, it also provides an example of people dealing with the impact of the global recession. You may consider hosting a call-in/text-in show which asks listeners if they have been affected by the economic downturn, and how they are coping.
-Are there people in your listening audience who have lost their jobs? If so, do they have any alternatives? Have some people turned to agriculture?
How have farmers who produce food for export been affected? If demand from export markets has decreased, have they found local markets? Have they made any changes to the kinds of crops they grow (for example, growing more subsistence crops?)