The 1st Quality Produce Fair (QPF) organized by Produce Monitoring Board and Ministry of Trade and Industry (PMB/MTI) to showcase SMEs/MSMEs – Producers Organizations, Cooperatives, Exporters, mainly in the Agribusiness Industry, was inspired by the outcome of Sierra Leone’s participation in the Cocoa of Excellence Awards 2017. The sample from Sierra Leone was selected among the first 50 best samples that were submitted by 166 competing countries.
The QPF was designed in line with Pillar (1) of the Agenda for Prosperity (A4P)- focusing on agriculture -both small and larger scale subsistence and cash crop production through agribusiness development and economic diversification.
The Quality Produce Fair (QPF), was held from the 8th to the 18th November 2017, at the Bo Coronation Field Bo City. The quality fair was the first that was organized by PMB and it also the first quality fair that has been organized in the produce sector of the country. The promotion of quality production and value addition gave the QPF a unique appeal to produce sector operatives, NGOs and other private sector participants to participate during the implementation of the project.
Participants in the QPF were drawn from the agribusiness, corporate, private and entertainment sectors, amounting to 60 farmer organizations, 7 exporters, 5 local processors, 6 corporate institutions, 5 entertainment complexes and 11 foreign participants from Ghana and Benin, totally 94 participating entities.
The aim of the Quality Produce Fair was to promote the production, processing, and marketing of value added and high quality agricultural produce in Sierra Leone.
The QPF was organized in pursuance of the following objects;
- To promote quality Production and value addition in the produce sector
- To create a market platform where buyers and sellers will meet and conduct business
- To enhance stakeholders knowledge on world market quality requirements of all exportable agricultural commodities.
- To provide capacity building training opportunities to stakeholders on;- quality standards, market information system, packaging for export, dynamics of international trade, access to finance, containerization, etc.
- To enhance Producer Organizations’ ability to access finance.
The Quality Produce Fair was intended to bolster the corporate image of the Produce Monitoring Board and also create a platform where farmer organizations, exporters, local processors, government institutions, NGOs, foreign participants and other players in the sector could interact, share their experiences in terms of quality production and value addition of our local produce in the country. The QPF also featured capacity building training for participating farmer groups geared towards improving their knowledge about the sector as well bolstering their capacity to access finance.
All of the 94 organizations which took part in the QPF received Certificate of Participation, awards were given for 1st, 2nd & 3rd positions to farmer groups, exporters and local processors. Awards were also given to partners and sponsors in recognition of their contributions to the successful implementation of the QPF project.