Conservation Agriculture Project (CARE Sierra Leone)

Conservation Agriculture Project (CARE Sierra Leone) © CARE

The conservation agriculture project aimed at increasing rural productivity through sustainable land use. Against a background of violent conflict between cattle farmers and arable famers the goal of the project was to support 11,000 farmers move from adopting shifting cultivation patterns to staying permanently on a piece of land all year round. This new system required individuals or groups to access/own land for a long period of time, and sought to overcome the challenges of securing long land tenure for groups typically marginalised by traditional customary law, such as women and youth. The project adopted a conflict sensitivity approach to negotiate through these difficult tensions and ensure that efforts to improve food security did not lead to increased tensions between groups already in a state of conflict.

Activities to improve the conflict sensitivity of the project included:

  • Conducting micro-level conflict analysis; and reviewing gaps such as the lack of inclusion of pastoralists in the initial design as well as the need to recognise and integrate the role of chiefs;
  • Reviewing CARE’s approach with communities and redesigning it to improve participation and engagement for instance through capacity-building on conflict mitigation and management
  • Recognising challenges in the relationship between CARE and the local authorities and so engaging more with local power structures including working with local authorities to pass bye laws.
  • Countries: Sierra Leone
  • Area: Koinadugu (40 commnities)
  • Start Date: February 2009
  • End Date: February 2012
  • Donor: Howard G Buffet Foundation
  • Funding Total: $1,678,370

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