‘Agriculture is engine for economic growth’


-Deputy Youth Minister

August 24, 2018

Lusine Kallon
Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs in China

Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Lusine Kallon, has disclosed that they were going to use agriculture as an engine for economic growth in the country, adding that the agricultural sector will create an opportunity for employment creation, value addition and food security.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at a Ministerial Workshop on China’s Development Experience for Developing Countries in 2018.

He said as a government they have realised that the country’s mineral resources have not benefited the average Sierra Leoneans.

He opined that as a new government, they inherited a battered economy but with strong financial discipline, they were on track to address the challenges.

He further that China was perhaps the most prominent example of a country that has shifted from taxing to subsidising its agricultural sector, adding that the country’s domestic support policies for agriculture have expanded rapidly in size and scope.

The deputy youth minister said a report summary from the Economic Research Service in the United States Department of Agriculture shows that China was now the leading destination for United States agricultural exports, and commended the Government of China for such an impressive initiative.

He narrated that China recently released guidelines on green development in agriculture and that those guidelines have set goals for resource conservation and environmental protection.

He said the government of Sierra Leone aims to prevent excessive exploitation of groundwater and improve the efficiency of irrigation.

Minister Kallon further that agriculture, according to the guidelines, should be more sustainable, farmers better off, and the countryside more beautiful and habitable.

He noted that such could only be achievable with strong committed and disciplined leadership.

“Under the New Direction, we made a sacred promise to provide free, but quality education for all Sierra Leoneans devoid of political affiliation, region or religion. I am happy to announce to you that the Free Quality Education was launched by President Julius Maada Bio where he donated three months of his net salary to the Free Education Trust Fund,” he said.

He noted that another sacred commitment by the government of Sierra Leone was using agriculture as an engine for economic growth.

“Our youth are in need of jobs and the agricultural sector has not been properly utilised. This is why we need a strong partnership to achieve this objective,” he said.

He assured that the government was ready to provide the enabling environment for genuine investors to invest in the country and that the recent innovation in Chinese agriculture was the push into organic agriculture and it is very laudable.