Using network theory to promote adoption of new agricultural technologies in Sierra Leone

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in Sierra Leone has identified livestock production as the second most important activity in their 5-year strategic plan and recognizes the central importance of maize as a feed crop for livestock.
  • This policy brief suggests that to reap the desired benefits from any policy intervention, a value chain approach to development should be adopted. Such a value chain must involve the development of human capital at the smallholder farmer level, support in the provision of agricultural technology and coordination between the main market actors, namely: farmers, millers and animal feed or poultry producers.
  • A feasibility study was carried out jointly by IGC, Y-RISE and WARC, aimed to inform a larger, scaled-up randomised control trial (RCT) to rigorously estimate the impact of this proposed bundled intervention across hundreds of rural villages throughout Sierra Leone.
  • Research and interviews with stakeholders have identified three major barriers to the development of a sustainable, domestic animal feed industry within Sierra Leone: information gaps, lack of access to transformative technology, and lack of coordination to effectively gather market information and communicate with potential purchasers in the market.
  • This brief also provides context on the potential for adoption of maize in Sierra Leone when given technology to transform maize, access to agro-industry, and access to higher-value market.