Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

The CFFO Commentary: Helping Out In The Rebuilding of An Agricultural Sector

By John Clement
June 3, 2011
The University of Guelph and Njala University in Sierra Leone have entered into a unique arrangement to strengthen the African institution’s ability to help in the rebuilding and development of agriculture and community service. As part of that arrangement, a delegation from the Sierra Leone university recently toured Ontario to gain a sense of how our province has put together a strong working relationship between farmers, producer groups, educational institutions, industry and government.

Njala University has its work cut out for it. Recently emerging from a decade-long civil war, Sierra Leone finds itself at a crossroads regarding food production, the sustainable use of resources, and poverty. Poverty is wide-spread, and agriculture is the primary source of employment and livelihood, with two-thirds of the population dependent upon agriculture for its livelihood. In addition, agriculture is responsible for almost half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Accordingly, agricultural development has been identified by the government as a key to economic growth and poverty reduction in Sierra Leone.

Despite the key role Njala University has been given in helping to rebuild Sierra Leone, it isn’t without its share of unique challenges. For one, the campus was badly damaged during the civil war and was abandoned for over 15 years. In addition, half of the University’s faculty had fled the country or had died in the conflicts. Also, a key area that had been underdeveloped in the Njala University’s strategic plan was how to get the institution to play a key role in developing working linkages with extension personnel, farm groups, community organizations and private corporations.
Fortunately for Njala University, a strategic planning partnership with the University of Guelph can yield strong help for the task. The University is one of the country’s most research-intensive educational institutions and has developed a strong track record over the years for extension and cooperative efforts with industry, farmers and government. And the larger Ontario agricultural infrastructure could also make a contribution if called upon, due to its well-developed approach to collaborative efforts.

Having recently met with the Sierra Leone delegation, I am left with two strong impressions. First, I was impressed with the commitment and dedication of the Njala representatives to rebuild their country and their efforts to seek out the best help in using agriculture as one of the prime development tools. Second, I was thankful that our infrastructure and working relationships within Ontario agriculture are well developed. We sometimes grumble about our domestic agricultural system as we seek to improve it day-by-day, but it remains a wonderful achievement for delivering opportunities and creating wealth. I wish the Njala University and the University of Guelph well in their partnership and pray that it will deliver great benefits for the people of Sierra Leone.

John Clementis the General Manager of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston. It is also archived on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.

Views: 24


You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

CFO Donates to Sounds of the Season

Chicken farmers contribute $10,000 to CBC fundraising campaign for local food banks

Climate change to push food prices higher, report predicts up to 4% hike in 2020

The average Canadian family will pay up to an extra $487 on feeding themselves next year, according to an annual food price report that highlights climate change as a major culprit for rising food prices, especially in the produce department.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Tree Day

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Choose an Ontario-grown Christmas Tree

Storing Of Wet Grain Could Result In Bulk Freezing

With the wet harvest, extra attention will need to be paid to stored grain over the winter.

Food Prices Expected To Increase In 2020

The 10th annual edition of Canada’s Food Price Report forecasts a 2 to 4% increase in food prices in 2020, bringing the predicted annual cost of food for the average Canadian family to $12,667, an increase of $487 over 2019. Canada’s Food Price Report 2020 is released jointly by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph.

© 2019   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service