Agriculture and farming are essential to the livelihoods of many rural communities in Africa. There are basic things one needs to know about farming and one of those things is the difference between permanent and temporary crops. What makes a crop temporary?
What makes a crop permanent? Additionally, when and how should they be planted and harvested? These are all aspects of farming that the children at the Ansarul Primary School in Foindu Village, Sierra Leone are learning about as part of Impact Sierra Leone’s “Seeds of Life” Campaign launched this past April 2021.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), permanent crops are crops that do not require replanting year after year or season after season. Once they are planted, they essentially continue to produce on its own for up to five years if the land that it is growing on remains arable. Examples of permanent crops include fruit, nut and berry trees like guava, mango and kushi nut trees.
They also make up the bulk of the permanent crops that will be grown by the children and staff at the school as well as some of the residents that make up the Foindu community.
Temporary crops are those which are sown and harvested during the same agricultural year. Often, they are grown more than once. They require replanting every season. Examples include rice, cassava and potatoes. These are considered staple foods in Sierra Leone and the surrounding region as populations in this region consume them regularly.
While these temporary crops are essential and the most desired types of temporary crops, we want to encourage supplementing them with other temporary and permanent crops that have high nutritional value while respecting indigenous culinary practices and preferences.
Thanks to the support of our sponsors and donors like you, the approximately 180 children enrolled at the Ansarul Primary School have been directly involved in the planting and harvesting of fruits and vegetables which will be available for them throughout the year. So far, okra, ginger, cucumbers, maize, guava, pineapple, coconut, mango, banana, cassava, lime, oranges, pumpkin, and yams have been planted and harvested.
The children have been able to incorporate the produce into their meals while at school. Simultaneously, they are learning about the benefits of each of these foods through monthly workshops, hands-on activities and wellness posters and factsheets developed by Impact Sierra Leone (ISL) staff.
They are excited about the campaign and eager to learn about the importance of a healthy diet. Impact Sierra Leone is equally elated about the progress that is being made and look forward to building a strong partnership with the Foindu Village community, improving the lives of this community and making sure that women and girls play an equal role in helping to ensure that their community thrives and become self-sustainable and better for future generations.
For more information on Impact Sierra Leone’s “Seeds of Life” campaign and to donate, visit www.impactsierraleone.org. Also check out our gofundme page here https://gofund.me/debd9e38 where you can also donate and receive regular updates on the project.
Written by: Yeabu Conteh