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Minister of Agriculture, others approved

January 15, 2016 By Jariatu S. Bangura

Parliament yesterday approved Prof. Monty Patrick Jones as Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security. Eight other presidential nominees were also approved to serve in different ministries, departments and agencies.

Professor Jones was Special Adviser to the President and Ambassador-at-Large prior to his appointment as Minister of Agriculture. He had also served as Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and Chairman of the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR). He was awarded the prestigious World Food prize in 2004 in recognition of his discovery of a new rice for Africa (NERICA), which gives higher yield, shorter growth cycle and has more protein content than its Asian and Africa parents.

The other approved nominees include: Hon. Isata Kabia as Minister of State II in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Patrick Saidu Conteh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development; Dr. Mohamed Gibril Sesay, Minister of State I Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Justice Alhaji Momoh-Jah Steven; Justice Komba Kamanda; and Idrissa Barrie, board member at Guma Valley Water Company Limited.

Chairman of the Appointment and Public Service Committee, Hon. Ibrahim R. Bundu, said the committee maintained strict adherence to established procedure as the nominees were questioned on wide ranging issues relating particularly to their educational background, track records in their respective work place, declared asset, tax obligations and their vision for a successful and productive tenure of office.

Hon. Komba Koedoyoma said he was satisfied that the country now has a vibrant and resourceful minister in the Ministry of Agriculture.

He urged other nominees to work diligently as parliament would monitor their success based on statements attributed to them during their interview.

Hon. Jusifu B. Mansaray noted that 70% of Sierra Leoneans are farmers and that Le55 billion had been allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture to enhance food security.

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