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Last Updated: Oct 28th, 2011 - 18:43:08 
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Sierra Leone.
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EDITORIALS  

Engaging the Youths in Agriculture is Brilliant!
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Oct 28, 2011, 17:08
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I dont want to be a farmer, I fancy being a lawyer or a medical doctor, are some of the unfortunate statements often heard from many students when they talk about choosing professions for the future.

 

It is only when hunger strikes that people come to realise the importance of becoming an agriculturist. Agriculture, like mathematics, has always been a school subject that many students despise.

 

It is either the lack of getting the right advice about agriculture or an outright ignorance of the importance of the subject.

 

Whatever the reasons, the Awareness Times is a firm believer in self sufficiency in food production. That is why we salute the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO for pledging $350,000 US dollars as investment to attract our youths in to agricultural productions.

 

Sierra Leone is currently relying heavily on food importation understandably so, as the country is just emerging from the throes of bloody civil war that devastated every facet of our institutions. Like other countries around the world, unemployment in Sierra Leone is skyrocketing through the roof.

 

We believe with a sponsorship of this sort by FAO, many youngsters in Sierra Leone will undergo training in various agricultural fields and this will surely reduce unemployment as well as fight hunger and poverty in the country and eventually could attain self sufficiency in food production.

 

The FAO representative in Sierra Leone Dr. Gabriel Rugalema disclosed during the World Food and Poverty Reduction Day on Friday October 21, 2011 in Freetown that a new report on the state of food insecurity in the world 2011 has been launched. He stressed that if Sierra Leone is to actualise the dream of food sufficiency the governments Agenda for Change policy must focus its attention to the youths, who make the majority in the country.

 

This newspaper believes that any efforts by our partners in progress to provide facilities for the youths to gain employment deserve commendation. We understand a new infrastructure is underway at the SABI Centre at Newton in Freetown to train unemployed youths in agriculture thanks to the contributions of UNDP, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation UNIDO.

 

Sierra Leone is not the only country experiencing food problems as confirmed by the FAO representative when he spoke on the topic Food Prices: From Crisis to Stability.

 

Dr. Rugalema said for many years food prices in the world was stable until 2006 when disaster struck and food prices began to rise.

 

We also commend the government for prioritising agriculture by increasing its budget to 10%. And by making several agricultural equipment i.e. 255 tractors available to farmers is an incentive worth mentioning.

 

We urge the government to provide scholarships and other incentives to students of agriculture as a motivation to pursue this important discipline. Remember that a nation is only complete when it starts feeding its citizenry with at least 70% of home grown food.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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