The Sierra Leone Agro-Processing Competitiveness Project (SLAPCP) has provided USD 1.3 million grants to 25 small and medium enterprise agro-processing enterprises as a relief fund to help businesses continue with the Covid-19 pandemic shock in 2020.
The project included a training program that trained 210 SMEs staff and hundred part-time and casual labourers, supplied raw material to 10,000 plus smallholder farmers and 500 plus low-income retailers. The SMEs were also trained to develop 10 new products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including healthy food variations and alternative packaging to promote better health and safety. 13, or 52 percent of the SMEs selected part of the program were women-owned or women-led.
“It helped to ensure business continuity, resilience, and the safeguarding of jobs, incomes, and livelihoods.” The World Bank reported.
The SLAPCP is a World Bank project that started in 2018 it works to improve the business environment in the agribusiness sector and increase the productivity of targeted agro‐processing firms in Sierra Leone. The project comprises of three components. The first component is to promote an enabling environment for agro‐processing sector competitiveness and growth of agribusiness firms, The second component is firm‐level support to increase productivity and strengthen the competitiveness of agro-processing firms and SMEs in selected value chains and project implementation, coordination, and monitoring and evaluation (M and E).
The SLAPCP project is a World Bank project in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency and other agencies.
The collaboration supports the development of favourable policies, capacities, and other functions for building a vibrant and growing agro-processing sector in Sierra Leone and also partners with other local and global business accelerators, learning institutions, and market actors to promote ecosystem building, shared learning, and effective engagement.