…PC Koblo Queen II
February 4, 2019
By Joseph S. Margai from Lunsar
Paramount Chief (P.C) Koblo Queen II, Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko district, North-Western Sierra Leone, has urged government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to invest heavily in agriculture, which, according to him would not deceive them like mining.
P.C Koblo Queen II, who was speaking to Concord Times in his office at Lunsar, on Wednesday (30th January, 2019), observed that there would come a time when minerals would be exhausted and mining companies would fold up, but land to farm would always remain.
Marampa Chiefdom, which was occupied by three mining companies-London Mining, African Minerals Limited and Cape Lambert Mining Company, recently witnessed the closure of those companies, thus leading to the increase in youth unemployment not only in the chiefdom, but across the country as whole.
P.C Koblo Queen II reiterated that prices of iron ore would fall and mining companies would shut down operations, but that agriculture would remain and continue to provide employment for the many unemployed youth, provided the needed resources are available.
“We vast land to farm on and I do agree that access to wetlands in the urban areas of the chiefdom for agriculture is a bit difficult, but there are available ones in rural communities.
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Some of these lands have been fallowed for many years and we just need the required funds to embark on large-scale agriculture,” he said.
He dilated on the need to comercialise agriculture, adding that once that is done, there would be enough food to eat and export, which would subsequently bring into the country foreign exchange.
“We need support from the central government to boost agriculture, do value chain addition, bring in combine harvesters, tractors, and construct drying floors. We will surely realise the benefit of such venture on the growth of the country’s economy,” he said.
Concerns raised by some farmers in other districts and chiefdoms were also endorsed by P.C Koblo Queen II, who noted that farmers have limited access to loan from financial institutions to boost the agro-economy.
“Banks in this chiefdom must step in to boost agriculture. They should give out loan to farmers, so as to help them conduct their activities at ease,” he said, and added that farming could employ a huge percentage of the Sierra Leonean population, with the availability of the required support.