BY SAHR DUMBAR MATTURI
The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security working in line with the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Rural and Private Sector Development Project sponsored by the World Bank is now attracting foreign investors in to the country. On the 3rd of August 2011 the ministry of agriculture held a press conference to brief public about some the achievements made under the aforementioned project.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security indicated that they can improve the Ministry by adding value to what it is doing. The Director General France Sankoh maintained that the RPSDP is focused on increased production of selected agricultural commodities by twenty percent and sales by ten percent through improvement in efficiency.
Peter Kaindaneh, the Project Coordinator of the project, spoke about Vice Presidential Unite (VPU) award of the World Bank, which picks the best performing projects within various parts of the globe; for the Africa region this year out of the eight hundred ninety three active water projects twelve where chosen for meaningful recognition and for outstanding achievement. The added that among these twelve project one was chosen for Sierra Leone that happened to be the Rural and Private Sector Development Project (RPSDP).
The Project Coordinator, citing some of the various major achievements, maintained that the project has provided financial technical support for the establishment of three new cocoa cooperatives with total membership of 12,688 comprises for both male and female in Kailahun, Kenema, and Kono District. These cooperatives, he disclosed have set up an exporting company Kaiguhma that has already exported 142 metric tons of Cocoa produce and is presently discussing with Techibana & Co Ltd, a Japanese cocoa importing firm. This will diversify their client base, leading to higher incomes.
He also revealed that the project has supported SLIPA for the establishment of a market information system focusing on the export market which will facilitate growth and competiveness in the agricultural sector of the country, and that ninety percent of feeder roads linking farms have been constructed.
The Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security Dr Sam Sesay in his keynote address said that Government’s aim is to support framers to produce and support themselves through the export of their produce and creating access for them by bringing modern farming equipments to increase productivity, he added that small holder commercialized farming is important to look at to meet the MDGs number one goal of reducing poverty.