By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
Paramount Chief of Bendu Bongor Chiefdom in Bo District, Musa Aruna Sandi, has told journalists that IFAD has changed the way they farm by making farming easier and productive.
The chief was speaking during a monitoring exercise conducted by a team of IFAD and the Ministry of Agriculture to project sites in the provinces.
Prior to the intervention of the Invalid Swamp (IVS) project, the chief said they were not particular about swamp farming, as all what they were doing was upland cultivation.
But with the intervention of IFAD and the Ministry of Agriculture, their narrative has changed, having now the required skills to do swamp farming in a very large scale.
He added that the site was an abandoned swamp that the people of Bongor were not using because they were not having the proper material to farm.
Now a poultry farmer, Amie Sullay, at Yoni in Tonkolili District,northern Sierra Leone, migrated from being an ordinary egg seller in the streets to a poultry owner.
She said some 15 years ago, she was parading the streets in order to find her daily bread by selling boil and raw eggs. But after facing a host of difficulties, she made up her mind to move from being a trader to a poultry farmer.
During a visit to her poultry farm in Yoni, she disclosed to journalists, the Executive Board of IFAD and the Ministry of Agriculture that, she started with 50 chickens, which she bought in Guinea. She said she later went back and bought 100 more to add to the existing 50 she already had.
She noted that based on the level she wanted to take the business to, she needed money in order for her to meet such a target.
She said she was introduced to the Apex Bank by a friend, who saw the passion she had for poultry and that she was given a Le 5 million loan to kick start her farming proper.
The proprietor of Amie Sullay Poultry is now boasting of having 1,300 chickens in her poultry. Out of which she is producing having one cartoon and six piles of eggs on a daily basis.
She is managing her business now from what she’s getting from her farm and also paying her workers in the process. While telling are success story, she said the poultry business is doing well, having built a house from it and also owns a hectare of land added to the supports she is giving to her family members.
She said she has a lot of customers in Waterloo, Moyamba and other parts of the country, who are scrambling to get her egg as a result of its quality.
Highlighting her challenges, she noted that the price of corn was very much expensive, and that she was buying it at Le1,000 new notes per bag in order to feed the chicken.
She cited access to water as another challenge for her chicken, adding that she needed borehole to meet the demands of her chicken.
She also advocated for support in order to fix her fence to prevent thieves from entering his poultry, as currently she was having sleepless night with her husband to protect their chicken.
She thanked Apex Bank for the support, as she looks forward for more support.
IFAD in collaboration with Apex have been helping farmers in the provinces in the country with farming techniques, equipment and loan in order to improve their farming activities.
The IFAD Executive Board, which made up of different nationalities is currently in Sierra Leone monitoring different project sites they have been supporting.