Compete Salone Grant: Strengthening resilience across Sierra Leone’s agriculture-to-agro-processing value chains, with a particular focus on tropical fruits and cacao

Improving resilience among farm producers and street sellers is a top priority for Capitol Foods. With the support of COMPETE Salone, the company successfully diversified its sourcing by engaging with a broader range of farmers through a decentralized Sourcing Agent approach. Moreover, a selected group of farmers received an Input Starter Package, structured on an asset-based financing model with a flexible repayment scheme, aimed at boosting production and productivity. In terms of distribution, logistics, and sales, Capitol Foods implemented enhancements to empower street sellers, thereby enhancing their selling capacity and incomes. 

As part of this initiative, we undertook several key actions: 

• Expand Type of Fruits Sourced and Increase Number of Beneficiary Farmers: Capitol Foods has expanded fruit type to be sourced from 2,000 additional farmers (Coconut – for coconut milk – 750 new farmers, Orange – for Sierra Juice flavors – 750 new farmers, Cocoa – for production of Cocoa Mass – 500 new farmers) 

• Input Starter Package:  Capitol foods procures high quality farm inputs (including improved seed, organic fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, and tools, ensuring simplicity for farmers), transports the inputs to central warehouses (for storage and fractionation into individual Input Starter Packages), distributes the Input Starter Packages to 500 farmers and provides training to Extension Officers on GAPs, input application. In turn, the extension officers educate farmers on proper input utilization to maximize return on investment.

• Diversify Product Portfolio: Process newly sourced produce into organic certified coconut milk and orange juice with minor adjustments to existing machinery and a relatively small investment in new equipment. These products will be targeted for both local and export markets.

• Improvements to Logistics and Distribution Channels: Capitol Foods has identified 150 street sellers, with a particular focus on vulnerable members such as food-insecure individuals, women, and youth, situated in historically underserved areas. These hawkers have been deployed and transformed into dedicated salespeople for Sierra products by Capitol Foods, aiming to boost sales and generate higher income for both the company and the hawkers. In addition, Capitol Foods has equipped the hawkers with 50 solar-powered tricycles for those on the move, along with 100 carry boxes and cooler boxes for those traveling on foot. This initiative enhances capacity and efficiency while eliminating the necessity for ice.  

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