From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Agriculture Ministry, FCC, COOPI Sign Agreement
By Aruna Turay
Dec 2, 2010, 17:22

The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), the Freetown City Council (FCC) and COOPI have signed an agreement to work as a team to ensure the production of sufficient vegetable produces and to campaign for the use of such products by all citizens in the country.

Addressing his audience during the signing ceremony in the conference room of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, the Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, Dr. Sam Sesay said the campaign for all Sierra Leoneans to eat and produce vegetables and fruit is a step in the right direction, adding that his ministry is in high support of such moves. He went on that such campaign will not only be limited to Freetown, but will also be extended to the provinces.

Dr. Sam Sesay further expressed appreciation to COOPI for their timely intervention in the global fight to eradicate poverty in Sierra Leone.

“As a minister for food security, I thank you and hope we will continue the partnership and collaboration in promoting this campaign,” said Dr. Sesay, adding; “Government will not be able to meet all the needs of its citizens without active collaboration with other partners.”

He said the agreement will also help to secure more support for the beneficiaries to improve on their knowledge on producing vegetables.

According to the minister, malnutrition has over the years posed a serious threat to the country and has been a major contributor to the negative ranking of the country in the human development index.

The Project Manager for COOPI Ravindra Narayanaswamy said the signing of the agreement between his organization, the ministry and the city council is a milestone in the history of COOPI.

He said a situation needs to be reversed to motivate people not only in Freetown, but upcountry to embark on vegetable and fruit production and to eat them for better growth and development. He added that his organization will continue to partner with Government and other farmer-based organizations in their communities of operation so as to encourage people to grow and promote vegetable and fruit eating on a daily basis.

The signing ceremony was followed by a street parade from the central part of Freetown to Youyi Building, and the parade was used as a forum to sensitize the citizenry on the importance of growing and eating vegetables.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.