September 30, 2019
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
The Government of Sierra Leone in collaboration with some development partners, has signed different agreements totalling $270 million in order to achieve the National Agricultural Transformation Programme by 2023.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Sam-King Brima, disclosed to pressmen on Thursday (26th September, 2019) at Youyi building that the aim of the projects is not only to ensure that Sierra Leone is rice self-sufficient, but also to improve livelihood and provide quality job opportunities for Sierra Leoneans.
He said Sierra Leone has completed agreement of $35 million with the Islamic Development Bank, $30 million with the EXIM Bank of India, $12 million with the African Development Bank and more than $80 million with the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
He added that 3% of the total investment fund will be used for research and development purposes.
He added that the agricultural sector is striving to be one of the key players in economic diversification in the country.
He mentioned that 54,000 hectares will be cultivated by the Cagla FS Group at Tomabum and another 54, 000 hectares for both Bonthe and Pujehun districts respectively.
He said the $35 million project, which will target 5,000 farmers with to cultivate 2,500 hectares of land and produce about 150,000 metric tons of rice, has been signed with Islamic Development Bank.
He added that the IFAD project is going to create more than 1400 jobs for Sierra Leoneans.
He disclosed that the ministry has brought 600,000 metric tons of high yielding seed rice and that distribution has already begun in Moyamba district.
He said his ministry together with the Ministries of Defense and Youth has cultivated 170, 000 hectares of rice, which will help to generate 520, 000 metric tons of seed rice and 350,000 metric tons of processed rice that would cushion food insecurity in Sierra Leone.