The aim of the African Development Bank in 2018 was to mobilize domestic resources to finance industrialization. Farm Investment is realizing this aim by adding value to local produce by processing peanuts into a cooking paste used in African dishes, while simultaneously aiming to solve two key issues which face Sierra Leone. First, Farm Investment is addressing the challenge of high unemployment, working with eighteen women on a permanent basis and a further 20 women as casual workers during the planting season. The company also buys peanuts from a network of rural farmers scattered across Sierra Leone. Faced with the challenges of gender inequality and poverty, the women are unable to afford transport for their produce from their isolated communities to major city markets. As a result, women peanut farmers are forced to sell their produce at abysmally low prices to middle-men for fear of their produce getting spoilt if not sold in time. This is the second problem Farm Investment is hoping to solve because we buy directly from the farmers in their rural communities at agreed market prices – the same price they would receive if they were to transport their produce into the major towns. As an ethical organization, we refuse to monopolize the peanut buying system and so through the development of our phone application, we also enable other buyers to purchase the surplus produce (which we cannot buy), directly from the farmers, also at market prices, and hereby cutting out the exploitative middle-men. Such intervention increases the farmers’ chances of succeeding in their business because they are selling more produce at higher prices, and therefore contributes to the reduction of unemployment which exists in most of these communities.
Edmond J. Conteh
Marketer / Sales Representative Makeni
Favour A. Abdulai
Marketer / Sales Representative Freetown