Who we are

Soura and Partners is an African company providing full consultancy and Think Tank services in engineering, rural development, agriculture, management and development of water resources, environmental management, infrastructure, mines, and renewable energy. The company was created by engineer Sourakata Bangoura, a specialist in water resources management, and a former international civil servant of the United Nations System.

Our services and areas of intervention

  • AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT.
  • ENVIRONMENT, FORESTRY, LAND, AND WATER.
  • RENEWABLE ENERGIES / INFRASTRUCTURE.
  • SOUTH SOUTH AND TRIANGULAR COOPERATION.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Soura and partners sarl specializes in:
  • Human and institutional capacity building.
  • Development of policies and strategies.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of policies.
  • Hydraulics, water and sanitation.
  • Climate deregulation.
  • Advocacy and resource mobilization.
  • Agro industry.
  • Rural and Environmental economy.
  • Governance and sustained investment in individual skills and capacities.
  • Investment promotion.

Contribution to the agricultural component of the national response plan against the COVID 19 pandemic in Guinea

The Guinean government like others in the world and in particular in Africa has developed a National Response Plan to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic which continues its destructive and destabilizing momentum on the economic, social, and cultural fabric of all countries affected.

Given its magnitude and speed of spread, the COVID-19 virus has become a global issue, hence the international community's commitment to this battle now looks like a struggle for survival.

Indeed, the livelihoods of populations and in particular populations who rely on agriculture, as a source of nutrition and income have seen their production, availability, and accessibility strongly be compromised. This constitutes a real threat to food and nutritional security, especially for the most vulnerable populations and countries. Faced with this situation, impact mitigation measures, as well as measures to strengthen the resilience of the populations, must be integrated into the national response plans for the pandemic.

State of play / Diagnosis of the situation of the agricultural sector during a pandemic period

The COVD 19 pandemic was officially declared in Guinea in March 2020. This period corresponds to the off-season dominated by intense agricultural activities linked to the production, harvest, and marketing of market garden products (vegetables and fruits), tubers (cassava, sweet potato, potato, etc.), food products (rice, corn, fonio, millet, etc.), food for livestock as well as fishery products.

With the start of the rainy season, fieldwork should resume in all regions of the country, and this in a context marked by the security measures taken by the government to limit the progression of COVID-19 in the country. Among these measures we can cite: The closure of the borders, confinement, the closure of places of worship, the night curfew, the locking, and the limitation of the movements of people from the capital Conakry towards the interior of the country and vice-versa, the ban on gatherings of people, and so on.

These salutary measures certainly have significant consequences in terms of food and nutritional security on the most vulnerable because of the disruption of markets and agricultural value chains, of supply and demand, with the rise in the price of imported foodstuffs such as rice, oil, and sugar.

Moreover, we must expect a fall in prices and a slump in local products (vegetables, fruits, and certain cereals), meat, and fishery products. Consequently, producers' incomes have also seen a decline because of limited access to national and regional markets. 

Are we not on the brink of a food and nutrition crisis with disastrous and unpredictable social and economic consequences if measures to mitigate the impacts and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations are not taken?

In addition to the measures already taken by the government, I suggest the following:

  • Strengthen the social safety nets already planned to support the most vulnerable households through direct aid, subsidies, tax exemption, etc. in order to strengthen the resilience of rural and urban populations, young people, women, the elderly, producers, and other value chain actors.
  • Government purchase of excess agricultural products available in production areas to redistribute it to vulnerable populations at subsidized prices and to set up security food banks. The food security stock can be supplemented by the import of strategic foodstuffs (rice, oilseeds, sugar) for which the available world reserves are currently large with normal prices.
  • Authorize and unlock access to areas of high consumption in order to facilitate the transport of food products from production areas to markets especially in urban areas, while strengthening security protection measures.
  • Strengthen the partnership between the State, microfinance institutions, and banks in order to facilitate access to loans for producers and other actors in the value chains.
  • Provide an emergency subsidy to producers through existing umbrella organizations for the purchase of agricultural inputs for this agricultural season.
  • Rethink our food production system to make it sustainable by investing in capacity building and the development of local production value chains.
  • Investments focused on training, production, harvesting, processing, conservation, and marketing.
  • The development of a national agro-industry is the foundation of a strong, resilient economy that creates wealth and prosperity for all.

NB: This contribution was written by Mr. Bangoura Sourakata, Consultant, Former International Civil Servant, CEO / Soura and Partners, Think thank Africa.

Contact: bangoura@sourapartners.com