Area: Kanema district, Eastern province, Sierra Leone.
Slow Food in Sierra Leone
Agriculture is one of the main pillars of Sierra Leone’s economy and provides employment to around 75% of the population. The country has many natural resources and a favorable climate, but over the decades illegal mining and deforestation and large-scale monocultures have caused irreversible damage to many of the country’s natural ecosystems. The Slow Food network is mostly present in the eastern part of the country, between the Kenema and Kailahun districts. One of the most remote and rural regions, it borders Liberia and, to the north, Guinea. The area is famous for diamond mining and was the epicenter of the conflict during the civil war that ended in 2002, as well as one of the hotspots for the devastating Ebola epidemic 12 years later. The lush landscape is dotted with straw-roofed villages, and stretches of forest alternate with rice paddies, as well as many oil palm, coconut, cacao and coffee plantations. While most of the food sold in the supermarkets is imported, the local market stalls offer various types of rice (both local and imported), mountains of sweet potato, cassava and krain-krain leaves, ground peanuts, chilies, palm oil both industrial and artisanal, beans of different sizes, local potatoes, dried and fresh fish, meat and a wide variety of local fruit depending on the season. Slow Food has been working here since 2012. Thanks to the work of three local coordinators and the involvement of small-scale producers through the agroecological community, school and family food gardens and the Slow Food Kenema Kola Nut Presidium (in the three villages of Madina, Gegbwema and Darlu), activities are being run to raise awareness about local biodiversity and the importance of respect for the land, living in harmony with the environment and traditional cultures. The network also organizes educational activities with young people and schoolchildren and celebrations of conviviality with group meals, when the newly harvested produce is shared and toasted with typical beverages flavored with kola nuts and cacao water.
|Surface in m2:||2880|
|Coordinator:||Patrick Abu Mansaray|
|Sibling with:||Eataly, Italy|