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Reading: Sierra Leone to Host Two Days National Seed Business Summit to Drive Agricultural Transformation
Reading: Sierra Leone to Host Two Days National Seed Business Summit to Drive Agricultural Transformation

Sierra Leone to Host Two Days National Seed Business Summit to Drive Agricultural Transformation

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Sallu Kamuskay
By Sallu Kamuskay 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
National Seed Business Summit
National Seed Business Summit

Sierra Leone is gearing up for a major agricultural transformation with the upcoming National Seed Business Summit. The government, in collaboration with the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), is hosting this event from 18th to 20th September in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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The summit has adopted the theme “Building a roadmap for seed sector transformation,” which reflects the nation’s commitment to developing economically sustainable seed systems for key crops like rice, cassava, maize, and soybean. This initiative aims to propel Sierra Leone towards self-sufficiency in food production and boost its agricultural sector.

 National Seed Business Summit
National Seed Business Summit

 

Why is this summit significant? Well, seeds are the foundation of any successful agricultural system. Access to high-quality seeds and improved varieties is crucial for farmers to increase their productivity and adapt to changing climatic conditions. However, Sierra Leone faces numerous challenges in its seed sector, including limited availability of quality seeds, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of investment.

By bringing together key stakeholders from the government, research institutions, private sector, and development partners, the National Seed Business Summit aims to address these challenges head-on. It provides a platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and strategizing to develop a comprehensive roadmap for transforming the seed sector in Sierra Leone.

One of the key partners in this endeavor is TAAT, an initiative led by the African Development Bank. TAAT focuses on harnessing agricultural technologies to drive productivity and income growth in Africa’s agricultural sector. Through its involvement in the summit, TAAT brings its expertise in seed systems development and its network of partners to support Sierra Leone’s efforts.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), another key collaborator, is a leading research institution dedicated to improving agriculture in tropical regions. With its vast experience in crop improvement and seed systems development, IITA will contribute valuable insights and technical know-how to help Sierra Leone achieve its seed sector transformation goals.

The National Seed Business Summit will feature panel discussions, presentations, and interactive sessions covering a wide range of topics. These include seed policy and regulation, seed production and distribution, quality assurance, and farmer engagement.

One of the expected outcomes of the summit is the development of a comprehensive roadmap for Sierra Leone’s seed sector transformation. This roadmap will outline strategies, policies, and investments needed to strengthen the seed value chain, from research and development to seed production, distribution, and marketing. It will also address capacity building, infrastructure development, and the involvement of smallholder farmers in the seed sector.

Sierra Leone has immense agricultural potential, with its fertile land and favorable climate. However, unlocking this potential requires a well-functioning seed sector that can provide farmers with the necessary inputs to increase productivity and adapt to challenges. The National Seed Business Summit is a significant step towards achieving this goal.

By bringing together stakeholders and experts in the field, Sierra Leone aims to create a conducive environment for seed sector development. This will not only improve food security but also contribute to economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction in the country.

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Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean communication strategist, fixer, blogger, youth organiser, event manager, spokesperson, and public relations expert. His work has been regularly referenced and published by national and international media and public policy institutions. Sallu Kamuskay was a child during the brutal war in Sierra Leone. Growing up in the midst of conflict, Sallu witnessed unimaginable abuse of children and gross violations of human rights. The horrors he witnessed during the Civil War had a terrible impact on him at a very tender age. But despite the shock of the war, Sallu never lost hope. He started on a journey of recovery, studying, and working for a better future. At age 15, Sallu entered into the world of activism and advocacy. Sallu Kamuskay was the Vice President of the Young Leaders Organisation, a member of the National Youth Council. The Young Leaders is one of the oldest youth-led organisations in West Africa. The organisation was formed by a group of young leaders, and launched by the then Head of State/President of Sierra Leone. Sallu was part of the group of young leaders who participated in and contributed to the establishment of the National Youth Council. The Commonwealth supported the training for trainers programme with line ministries and youth stakeholders in which key, representatives of youth council, student union and civil society/private sector youth platforms were engaged and empowered in the effective engagement and inclusion of youth. Sallu is co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global multimedia and public relations firm based In Sierra Leone. Sallu has worked on various developmental and policy issues such as Poverty, Climate Change, Human rights, Child Rights, Education, Health, Gender Equality, Civic Engagement, Government policies, Information Communication Technology for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and has also been contributing to various global events and advocacy campaigns. Sallu Kamuskay is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Salone Messenger, a global Multimedia and Public Relations Firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information, on top stories, business, politics, entertainment, and more. Sallu is working with a leading technology company in Africa, Techfrica, that has recently developed and launched a social media, messaging Supfrica with over 150,000 downloads on the Google play store in less than 4 days. He is the Adviser and Media coordinator for the App to give people the platform to connect and communicate to help shape their future with a very fast internet that allows users that live in deprived and hard-to-reach areas with poor internet facility to be able to communicate as it allows and stronger on 2 and 3 G network reception. Sallu has over 9 years of experience in youth engagement, inclusion, and coordination both at local and global levels, giving voice to young people and engaging young people to build a better world. He has served as coordinator for the Wave Alliance which brought together youth-led organisations who attended an international training in South Africa organized by the International Organization – Waves for Change. Sallu is working with the MLT, Waves For Change, and the Government to develop safe spaces for young people, with a view to contributing to the overall development goals of young people including health, as well as to community rebuilding. Sallu is currently the Programme Director for the Wave Alliance, which is a coalition of youth-led and community-based organisations that have successfully introduced evidence-based Surf Therapy programs to young people in communities, with a focus on mental health, peace building and sustainable development. Sallu is currently the focal point and face of Africa’s Faces Social media platform which is a global Social media platform that brings together people from across the world to share their moments, connect, share videos, and interact with friends giving more preference to excluded continents like Africa. Sallu Kamuskay has devoted his time to working for or contributing to a number of national and international organizations and companies, including the Techfrica Technology Company, United Nations, ECOWAS, European Union, Commonwealth Africa Initiatives. This work has led him to travel to a number of countries to contribute to global youth platforms. Sallu is the lead Coordinator for Peace Tour programme, an initiative supported by the European Union, Africa Union, ECOWAS focusing on uniting and empowering young people and local communities. Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize. Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.