Rice is the national dish of Sierra Leone with average per capita consumption of 100kg per year. Whilst domestic production of rice is increasing once again after the setbacks of Ebola, Sierra Leone still imported more than 200,000 metric tonnes of rice in 2015. The country could and should be self sufficient in rice production or even a net regional exporter.
Soil and climate combine to make ideal rice growing conditions in much of Sierra Leone. However, most farms are tiny and yields are typically low, operating at a bare subsistence level in most cases.
Leone Resources' strategy is to develop a high yield mechanised 'home' farm across key locations, combined with the expansion and enhancement of an outgrower scheme throughout the local chiefdoms. In 2014 Leone Resources planted 500ha of rice and supported 300 outgrowers through a seed bank.
By helping local farmers increase acreage, efficiency and yield, many will produce a commercial surplus for the first time. Combining this surplus with Leone Resources' own production will greatly increase throughput of the company's milling and packing facilities and optimise sales and marketing logistics.
© 2016 Leone Resources Ltd.