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Sierra Leone: Smallholder farmers and the global food crisis

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Written by Lamin Kamara

The war between Russia and Ukraine has led to unprecedented price shocks in food, energy, and fertilizer globally due to the centrality of both countries in the functionality of these markets. Like in most countries in the world, Sierra Leone is severely affected by these shocks. WFP’s Hunger Map for Sierra Leone shows that 2.2 million people are chronically hungry, and 1.6 million people are acutely hungry as of July 15, 2022. Energy process—petrol and diesel—have more than doubled in 2022. Prices of food and non-food commodities have also increased exponentially.

Poor smallholder farmers—who already struggled to produce enough food—are facing severe impacts because they can no longer afford inputs and related services. Food security, especially among the rural population who depend largely on farming as a primary source of livelihood, is therefore of grave concern.

To understand the current impact of the global food crisis on smallholder farmers and their (farmers) resilience in the local context, CARE engaged participants of its Solar Harnessed Entrepreneurs project in two communities in the north of the country. The aim is to obtain first-hand information on affordability of inputs, impact of these shocks especially on women farmers and farmers’ coping mechanisms in the wake of the current global crisis.