By Sylvester Samba…………………………
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chernor M. Bah is personally supporting the effort of government to attain food self-sufficiency by cultivating 50-acres of fertile land at Mayawlaw Village in the Pakimasabong Chiefdom, Bombali District. The land, which is situated by the Rokel River, has an irrigation system and was visited by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Professor Monty Patrick Jones and delegation on Monday 15th August 2016.
The Minister was accompanied by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Agriculture, Hon. Aaron Koroma, Hon. Sahr Tengbeh and Hon. Lahai Marah, together with Arthur Harvey, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority and some professionals from the
The visit was to provide professional advice on the type of crops that should be cultivated on the farm.
Professor Monty Jones advised that the Deputy Speaker start with cashew crops which his Ministry is willing to provide adding that the land is suitable for banana and plantain cultivation for its good irrigation system.
He encouraged other officials to emulate the example of Hon. Chernor M. Bah because as he observed, “food security is a must in the country. Sierra Leoneans must do some form of agriculture where ever they find themselves.”
The Minister and team also visited the 300-acre cashew crops mainly from Banjul, potato, cassava, groundnut and tobacco farm owned by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma at Yeali Sanda Village where they were received by Abdul K. Mansaray who revealed that 20% of the farm was
destroyed by fire last year and lauded the Agriculture Ministry for its support.
Mr. Mansaray also disclosed that thousands of people depend on the farm for their livelihood observing, “my only concern is post-harvest processing and marketing of cashew.”
The Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Monty Jones assured that very soon, investors would arrive in the country to purchase large-scale agricultural products.
The Minister also visited the 125-acre farm owned and managed by the Ernest Bai Koroma Agriculture Development Association at Gboran, Makarie-Gbantie Chiefdom, Bombali District.
This Farmer-Based Organization has a membership of 1,415 and is cultivating rice, cassava, maize, okra, garden eggs and groundnut among others.
The organization also has a 15-acre farm at Makai Village and another 15-acre at Mafonike Village.
The Minister commended the organization for the good job, advised staff to work in line with the president’s priorities on agriculture and promised to provide the required support to boost production to flood the market with local produce.
The Minister and team made their final visit to Sanda Tandaren Chiefdom where they were welcomed by the Paramount Chief, the Member of Parliament, Honorable Sulaiman Sesay, Section Chiefs, farmers and other stakeholders.
The farmers took the team on a conducted tour of the farm to demonstrate their commitment in agriculture.