The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), Dr. Sam Sesay was recently in the Tonkolili District as part of a nationwide tour of farming communities. The one-day working visit took the minister and entourage to various farm sites in four chiefdoms in the district, including one located at MAFFS’ compound in the Kholifa Rowalla Chiefdom. The Tonkolili visit was the fifth in a series of the nationwide tour made by the minister within four days.
Addressing farmers and other stakeholders, Dr. Sesay said the purpose of the tour was to meet with various stakeholders in the respective districts, assess their constraints and monitor the utilization of funds by farmers allocated to the agricultural sector by the Government of Sierra Leone and our development partners. He expressed that among the five districts so far visited, Tonkolili has proved a success story in farming as far as the Northern Province was concerned with various forms of farming activities, both in crops and animal husbandry.
The minister used the occasion as an opportunity to highlight a couple of issues bordering on the construction of Agricultural Business Centers (ABCs) in the areas visited. He said the delay in construction works was as a result of the late supply of cements by contractors. He however, informed that the Rural and Private Sector Project implementation was far in advanced stage, remaining only with the installation of machines. He also hinted on the establishment of the Smallholder Commercialization Program (SCP), and called on farmers to embrace the project.
For his part, the Tonkolili District Agricultural Officer, Mr. Henry Kargbo underscored the joint efforts of teachers, nurses, traders and the community at large in the development of agriculture in that part of the country. He said despite the challenges they are facing in the agricultural sector, quality agricultural productivity is ensured in the district.
Nominous Kargbo, the Director of Trainings in Makali deliberated on the IVS and Nerica programmes, saying they are working hard with the Chinese High Breed 5 (CHB5) available in other areas of the chiefdom.
Community representatives from the different farm sites registered their thanks and appreciation to the Government of Sierra Leone for its relentless effort in developing Agriculture.