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Slay Farmer: A Conversation With Our Own Rugiatu Favour Kanu, Founder Of Slay Farmer SL Limited

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Slay Farmer: A Conversation With Our Own Rugiatu Favour Kanu, Founder Of Slay Farmer

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (SDG2) recognizes the interlinkages among supporting sustainable agriculture, empowering small farmers, promoting gender equality, ending rural poverty, ensuring healthy lifestyles, tackling climate change, and other issues addressed within the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Beyond adequate calories intake, proper nutrition has other dimensions that deserve attention, including micronutrient availability and healthy diets. Inadequate micronutrient intake of mothers and infants can have long-term developmental impacts. Unhealthy diets and lifestyles are closely linked to the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases in both developed and developing countries.

Adequate nutrition during the critical 1,000 days from beginning of pregnancy through a child’s second birthday merits a particular focus. The Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement has made great progress since its creation five years ago in incorporating strategies that link nutrition to agriculture, clean water, sanitation, education, employment, social protection, health care and support for resilience.

Extreme poverty and hunger are predominantly rural, with smallholder farmers and their families making up a very significant proportion of the poor and hungry. Thus, eradicating poverty and hunger are integrally linked to boosting food production, agricultural productivity and rural incomes.

Agriculture systems worldwide must become more productive and less wasteful. Sustainable agricultural practices and food systems, including both production and consumption, must be pursued from a holistic and integrated perspective. Source: Sustainable Development Goals

Born in Freetown at PCMH, Rugiatu Favour Kanu, popularly known as Slay Farmer is a 28-year-old young Sierra Leone Slay farmer, an Agriculture graduate from Njala University and A Certificate holder in SMEs Business Management from the Institute Of Public Administration and Management in collaboration with the Netherlands Business Council SL. Rugiatu Favour Kanu works with farmers in Kambia, Port Loko and Tonkolili and also own 10-acre of farmland of vegetables already planted at 6 miles, crossing point western area rural.

Born and lived most of her life in the eastern part of Freetown, PWD, Kamanda Farm. She  attended the St Martin’s nursery andSt. Theresa’s primary school where she completed her primary school education. She later enrolled at Freetown secondary school for girls (FSSG) where she attained her junior and secondary school education. Rugiatu Favour Kanu holds a degree in Agriculture from Njalla University. Rugiatu Favour Kanu grew up seeing her father who was a civil servant working very hard to educate her and taught her to always be on time on any occasion. Rugiatu’s mother didn’t have the opportunity to go to school, Rugiatu’s mother did petty trading to help her husband send their Rugiatu to school.

‘’One thing my family is known for is giving even though there was not much, but we also find a way of giving or helping the people around us and it’s most times food. My father retired when I was in JSS 2 and there we began having constraints and he even died before I could make it to the university but before he died, I promised him am going to make him proud and God has been faithful as that is exactly what I am doing” She told us Salone Messenger during an exclusive interview on our conversation with leaders from works of life.

 

Sallu kamuskay

Reflecting on your childhood or early youthful age, what was/were the difficult things you did to survive, acquire education or any of your dream?

Rugiatu Favour Kanu

I could vividly remember when I got admission to the university, my father was no more and there was no money to take me through, My mother cried to the church and people around me who believed in me came through for me. My mother sold everything she had to see me through and there were times I could not afford money for the upkeep and feeding at Njala Mokonde, but I found myself around true male friends who were willing to help without using it against me. So am grateful to God, my mother, the people who believed in me, and my friends. My passion is also helping people find a way of giving something to help someone stand strong and I never regretted choosing this path as it feels good rendering these services.

Sallu kamuskay

You are the founder and Chief Executive Slay Farmer? What would you say enable you to set this initiative?

Rugiatu Favour Kanu

Slay Farms/farmer SL, is a company  registered with the Cooperate affairs commission and duly incorporated with COMPANY NO: SL180821SLAYF11951 pursuant to the Companies Act No. 5 of 2009 (as amended) that all requirements of the act in respect of incorporation and all matters precedent and incidental to it having been duly satisfied SLAY FARMS (SL) LIMITED Is also incorporated in Sierra Leone as a Private Company and also registered with the Freetown City Council – SLI180821 / SLAYF1195

The name Slay farmer come about due to the fact the society looks low on farmers thinking that only old or poor people can be farmers, Slay farmer serve as a beacon of hope to young people. Where young people can be motivated to be part of agriculture. You can be everything and a farmer. YES, you can slay on a farm too. And the actual meaning of SLAY has been overturned by social media to mean differently in the negative – SLAY means to be exceptionally or greatly impress or amuse (someone) in what you do. Before now, I was focused on been an Extension Agent and a researcher only but then I went to ivory coast where I met a PhD. Holder in his farm working very hard like my farmers in the villages – straight off I said to myself I am owning a farm this year, then when I return home I did just that. That was where the inspiration came from. A piece of advice I received from Ambrose who is the best cocoa farmer in Africa, from Ivory Coast; he said farming is spiritual and that if you want to do better you have to have the passion and connection with your farm as if it is part of you. And after everything, I realised farming is my happy place

I own 10-acre farmland of vegetables already planted at 6 miles, crossing point western area rural. This farm is also used as a demonstration farm for vegetable farmers around the Six-mile community. The farmers I work with, I encourage them to adopt new, improved methods of farming, using a variety of methods to reach the farmers i.e. organising study groups for farmers, ‘farmer days’, demonstrations, lectures and literature, as well as informing the media.

Sallu kamuskay

Before setting up the Slay Farmer, where have you previously worked? Have you participated in any training both at the national and international level?

Rugiatu Favour Kanu

“I worked with the Produce monitoring Board at Kambia as a quality control officer and later transfer to Portloko as a district quality control coordinator and am presently at the Headquarters of the Produce Monitoring Board as a Quality Control Coordinator. I am a Trained and certified Sensory Evaluator of Cocoa from the Centre of promotion of imports from developing countries in the Netherlands. Trained in Ivory Coast and Liberia I am also trained by International Trade Centre – ICT on cooperative governance. This helps your know-how to set up, manage and run a farmer cooperative successful. I also did training on Business Management for SMEs in Sierra Leone from the Institute of Public Administration Management (IPAM) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Netherlands Business and Culture Council. This training helps you to know the procedure involved in running a small business. I did a training with GIZ on vegetable production, preservation and marketing, ss we know vegetables are delicate and must be handled with care I am under training by UNIDO on ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical Commission) ISO/IEC17020 – Conformity Assessment, which is a journey towards Sierra Leone to be a globally accredited and accepted Inspection Body. And lots more including SHE Trade’s Training on the Constraints faced by women in the cashew value chain”

 

Sallu Kamuskay

What would be your message to Sierra Leoneans?

Rugiatu Favour Kanu

“My message to Sierra Leoneans is that farming is not for old or poor people if we want to fight poverty and hunger to achieve food security, agriculture is the only way. You go to the farm, I go to farm You can be a lawyer, doctor, accountant, banker etc and still be a farmer. “And who says you can’t be a farmer and still slay??” I am open to research and consultation on Extension work, women in agriculture, farming/Farmers, and Produce quality etcetera as related to Agriculture, on a short term contractual/ consultancy basis. And open to teaching and directing Young girls wanting to go into farming.

How can you be reached? Your social media platforms and website?

Rugiatu Favour Kanu

I can be reached via the following social media platforms  below

Facebook Slay Farmer

Instagram: Slay Farmer

Linkedin Slay Farmer

Twitter Slay Farmer

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Sallu Kamuskay

Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine.
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.

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