June 16, 2015 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $45,000 project for Mountain Farmers Association, comprising three communities in the Mountain Rural District, just outside Freetown.
The project is expected to target fifty women farmers from Leicester, Gloucester and Regent Communities, to help boost their domestic crops production, according to local MP, Hon. Pateh Bah, last weekend.
The ruling party lawmaker told beneficiaries that their role as Members of Parliament did not include taking projects to their various constituencies, but to legislate laws, listen to the concerns of their constituents and play an oversight role.
Hon Bah noted that it was because of the huge challenges faced by women in his constituency (92) that prompted him to approach the ADB, under the project ‘Africa Women in Business’ to facilitate and improve crop production. He said the Councilor for Ward 326, Margaret Kargbo, was sent to Uganda to represent women in the country and back with a successful feedback, which has culminated into the project
He expressed disappointment of the low turn-out of beneficiaries, which he blamed on misinformation last month that he and the female councilor had received and chopped money in respect of the project.
He encouraged the women to work hard and implement the project with seriousness. He said the life span of the project will end in December this year and warned that if the implementation is counter-productive it would not be renewed.
Chairman of Mountain Farmers Association, Umaru Saffa, who is also project manager, averred that the project would entail three major stages: teaching women on financial management, crop production and pest management and the provision of input loan to women farmers.
He told the gathering that women should not allow their spouses to take the money from them, and assured the men that their own project was underway. He maintained that the first workshop on the project would commence on 22 June, adding that every beneficiary was expected to return the loan at the end of each planting season.
One of the beneficiaries, Binty Kamara, thanked the MP and team for bringing the project to their community, and confirmed that they had been told that money for the project had been mismanaged. She promised they would handle the money with care as women are good managers.