From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
COOPI Takes 5 Sierra Leone Farmers to South Africa
By Aruna Turay
Oct 11, 2010, 12:36

In its bid to promote agriculture and food security in Sierra Leone, a Non-Governmental Organization COOPI International under its ‘Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Project,’ has selected five Sierra Leonean farmers to attend a five-day learning and training program on vegetable cultivation, sorting, packaging, bookkeeping, and marketing scheduled to be held in Cape Town, South Africa commencing on Monday 10th October 2010.  The five farmers left the shores of Sierra Leone on Sunday evening and are expected back on Friday 15th October 2010 after the session.


Addressing the delegation before departure at the SDA Church Compound in Lumley, the Project Manager, Mr. Ravindra Naravanaswamy admonished them to make good use of the opportunity, adding that the programme is an opportunity for all the communities in Freetown to learn more about modern vegetable cultivation and other related issues for sustainable agricultural production and marketing form wht they would gain from the training.  He said urban agriculture is not only limited to the cultivation of fruits, but also processing, sorting, packaging, bookkeeping, and marketing. In that regard, Mr. Naravanaswamy called on the farmers to exploit the opportunity for the benefit of their compatriots.  “You are going to serve as trainers after Cape Town to help train other farmers in Sierra Leone,” he informed. 


Mr. Naravanaswamy disclosed that the Urban and Peri Urban Agriculture Project, a four-year project is being funded by the European Commission. He said the Urban and Peri Urban Agriculture Project is sub-divided into three components such as the Commercial Farmers, Unemployed Youths, and Subsistence Farmers, adding that at present, the project is benefiting One Thousand Five Hundred (1,5000) Sierra Leoneans in Freetown.


On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, the District Agriculture Officer, Madam Haja Adama Kamara called on the five representatives to have it in mind that they were on a voyage to represent Sierra Leone, not their self interests. She admonished them to make themselves part of the training so as to be adequately enriched with knowledge to bring back home.

She concluded by thanking COOPI for what she termed their contribution towards ensuring adequate and quality food production in Sierra Leone.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.