Sierra Leone: Njala University, Welthungerhilfe Signs MOU to Develop an Organic Certification Module At Safs

Njala University has on Friday 12th February 2021 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Welthungerhilfe courtesy of the SLE-1070 ADORE Project for the development of an Organic Agriculture and Certification program at Njala University.

The MoU was signed at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Njala University by WHH Project Head Ulrike Bongartz accompanied by John Banya and Alex John Bull, Policy and Certification Officers WHH. Professor Osman Sankoh, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Njala University signed on behalf of Njala University.

The MoU determines the terms and conditions for the development and incorporation of an Organic Agriculture and Certification module into the curriculum of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences.

This introduction of the module according to Welthungerhilfe was informed by a curriculum analysis gap of the courses offered at the Njala University's Premier School-the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences.

The overall goal of the project is to stimulate the sustainable growth of the Sierra Leone Cocoa Agri-business sector, build an inclusive partnership between value chain stakeholders at all levels and also promote an enabling policy environment for organic agriculture and value chain and development amongst several others.

Njala University according to the MoU will be fully involved in the development of the Organic Agriculture and Certification module and implement and incorporate the module in the curriculum of the School.

On the part of Welthungerhilfe, they will provide leadership in the activities established in the TOR, facilitate the recruitment of a consultant and provide 100 % funding for the activities of the project.

The scope of the project intends to bring together sector players, experts, and academics to develop content for a new organic and certification curriculum at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences in the next academic year.

The Key Contact Person for the project Dr.Sheku Kanu a lecturer at the Crop Science Department, School of Agriculture, and Njala University noted that the development process of the project will involve three high-level stakeholder workshops.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal Mallam O.welcomed the partnership between Welthungerhilfe and Njala University noting that this was a prerequisite for the growth of Njala University and entreated his staff to work towards bringing the activities of the project to fruition.

The School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Njala University has increasingly provided the much needed expertise and direction to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and other partners working in the sector.

The school is currently partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the National Authorising Officer and the EU funded BAFFS project in hosting the National Comprehensive Soil Survey.

The school is also host to the West African Virus Epidemiology project which is surveying on cassava viruses across West Africa and the Agricultural Value-Chain Development (AVDP) project which had nursed Oil Palm seedlings to the tune of 540,000 for onward distribution to fifteen (15) districts in Sierra Leone.

Professor Mohamed Alieu Bah, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences who also doubles as the Head of Department for Crop Science welcomed the partnership and assured Welthungerhilfe of the cooperation of his staff members. He urged them to build on the already established collaborations with his school to boost the agricultural sector.

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