March 12, 2021
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone,Professor Kelfala Kallon , has in a press conference held yesterday ,at the Bank Complex Kingtom in Freetown, disclosed that the Bank has set aside Le100 Billion Leones as a loan for farmers, so as to boost the country’s drive towards food sufficiency and economic viability.
The Governor described the program as a policy shift that will put a stop to the 200 Million United States Dollars used for the annual importation of rice.
He strongly assured pressmen that the loan will not be politically exposed, reiterating that the beneficiaries of the program will rather access the loan based on merits.
He said the total sum set aside for all phases in the program will be 500 Billion Leones, but noted that the first phase will be Le100 billion which will be delivered to the different commercial banks who in turn will issue out loans to agro-based dealers or distributors from the 16 districts strategically located all over Sierra Leone.
Explaining in detail, the Governor remarked that the loan will be distributed through an electronic voucher system with an interest rate of 5%, adding that the first phase will run for 18 months, subject to approval by the Board to run for another 18 months.
He added that the money in the E-Voucher cannot be used to purchase any other items except for the purchasing of seedlings for planting.
The money, he said will be delivered to distributors who will disburse an amount not more than Le10 million to farmers.