March 22, 2017
The China-Aid Agricultural Technical Team to Sierra Leone, has on Tuesday 21st of March 2017, donated consignment of fertilizers, vegetable seeds and other materials to farmers in the western rural communities at Ogoo Farm west of Freetown.
Chinese Ambassador H.E. WU Peng and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Professor Monty Jones attended the ceremony. While making statement at the handing over ceremony of the agricultural items in Ogoo Farm, Ambassador WU Peng told the farmers that he was happy to witness such event wherein the Chinese government was extending support to the local farmers.
He disclosed that, as an outcome of H.E. President Koroma’s state visit to China, the Chinese government would ship 6,300 metric tons of rice for Sierra Leoneans and that expert training in agriculture would be given to locals Sierra Leoneans in China.
“I am also very glad to announce that China is working actively on the training programs in the agriculture sector for Sierra Leone and is going to send 60 participants to China for training in agricultural related courses including agricultural administration, rice planting, road beautification and so on.” The Ambassador said
Ambassador WU Peng pointed out that, China has been carrying on the Agricultural Technical Cooperation with Sierra Leone for more than forty years. He went on to note that, China has sent agricultural experts and set up cooperation site at district level in the country including Freetown, Kenema, Bo and other places across the country.
In his contribution, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Professor Monty Jone said, he was delighted for the gesture and that Agriculture was fundamental for the country development. Prof. Jones pointed out that all developed countries in across the world has used agriculture as key priority for development over the years.
He said the items giving to the farmers would boost both production and productivity in the agricultural sector. He noted that, in the past with the help of the Chinese government, Sierra Leone was able to export rice to neighboring countries within the sub-region. He also highlighted that, the Chinese president, XI Jinping, while attending the Johannesburg Summit of Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2015 made a commitment to invest heavily in Africa and since then, there has been more expert coming to the country to help in the area of not only infrastructure but also in agriculture.
The Agriculture Minister stressed on the relationship between China and Sierra Leone as one that is helping the country to develop, pointing the role played by China during the Ebola outbreak as show of outstanding and remarkable.
“This is real friendship, a friendship that wants to see Sierra Leone grow economically. We are happy with this kind of friendship, because a friend in need is a friend indeed.” The Minister said.
Stevens Fallah, Chairman of Ogoo Farm farmers’ association thanked the Chinese Ambassador and the Minister of Agriculture for their support over the years, but also mentioned there are still lot works to do to meet the challenges which farmers like him was facing now.