The Greener Diamond Farm – Sierra Leone
The Greener Diamond Farm is located in the Kono District of Sierra Leone. It is a little over 100 acres and employs and trains over 500 local, reformed child soldiers and street kids. The Kono District was chosen for the location of The Greener Diamond Farm as it is considered to be one of the world’s largest fought over areas due to its abundance of natural resources. Sierra Leone is ranked by the United Nations as the world’s least developed country with appallingly weak social and health indicators. There is massive unemployment and it is estimated that more than half of the population live below the poverty line on less than $1 a day. In spite of several national and international efforts, the measure of poverty and vulnerability remains high especially among the youthful population.
The Significance of The Greener Diamond Farm
1. The farm is using 100 acres of prime diamond mining land to grow food, an idea some people/corporations do not like!
2. This farm was completely funded by diamond consumers purchasing man made diamonds from MiaDonna.com
"In the kono, it is not uncommon to find a diamond on the ground during heavy rains or if the ground shifts a little. Because of this, there has always been a fight over the kono district. However, during the Sierra Leone civil war it got brutal…because the group that conquered the Kono district ran Sierra Leone and the profits from its natural resources. They will always be in conflict and on the brink of civil war. That is why I found it so important to put our farm there. The local youth are tired of mining, poverty and conflict, and now realize mining will never prosper them. This [The Greener Diamond farm] is what the local people want…they asked The Greener Diamond and we delivered.” - Anna-Mieke Anderson, founder of The Greener Diamond
The Greener Diamond project in Sierra Leone shall work to improve the livelihood situation of vulnerable rural youths by promoting household level food production and community cohesion. The specific objectives are:
1. To support youth groups with seed and equipments to engage in agricultural production to reduce poverty and unemployment.
2. To enhance the acceptability and affordability of livelihood for community Youth.
3. To promote community engagement in favor of cohesion and rights realization.
4. To enhance the management and leadership skills of community based youth groups.
It is estimated that through 350 youth farmers and 20 youth groups, about 2,850 people in 22 marginalized villages in the districts of Kono will directly benefit from the project activities and that another 15,000 will benefit indirectly, particularly residents of those communities that fall within the targeted Chiefdoms of Koidu New Sembehun and Sando.
There will be increased availability and variety of food in all households for all household members as a result of the adoption of improved and sustainable farming practices and animal rearing , increased food production, a decrease in pre and post-harvest losses and proper processing of produce resulting in improved preservation. The volume of produce marketed will have increased as well.
Other benefits will include improved and consolidated stock of seeds, livestock farming, better availability of farming tools, rehabilitation and developed valley fields, operational agro-processing equipment within the community, storage and drying facilities for agricultural produce, functioning local markets (market days), and improved nutrition and sanitation and employment operation within the communities for youths and women.