The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Professor Patrick Monty Jones over the weekend disclosed that Sewa Farmer, a private farming company, will invest about $30 to $40 Million in the next five to six years in agriculture.
Speaking at a press conference, the Minister stated that the project titled, Sewa Farm, will start between June and July this year in Turma Bum in Bonthe district and the project will start with 25,000 hecters of rice to be done in a mechanised way.
Professor Monty Jones said that as part of the company’s cooperate social responsibility, they would be establishing a farming school for the farmers where they would be taught the use of modern farming machines and also a hospital to treat the farmers and members of the community.
“Sewa Farm will introduce modern farming and management methods, which will have immense impact on agricultural productivity that would lead to economic growth and improved livelihood for the rural population. It will introduce modern agricultural methods, create jobs, transfer knowledge and rebuild farming productivity and the economy,” The Minister maintained.
The Agriculture Minister noted that the vision of the Ministry is to increase agricultural production, the commercialisation of agriculture to enhance development; add value to the products, link production to markets and to drastically reduce importation of rice and other food consumables. He assured that with this latest development, these will be addressed in the shortest possible time.
The Minister explained that when he took over office, he visited all the fourteen districts and met with farmers and people involved in agriculture. He pointed out that the tour gave him the opportunity to know the key commodities in each of the districts.
During this tour he disclosed, he discovered that Sierra Leonean farmers are very knowledgeable in what they do and that they know what they want, where to go and how to increase yields. “It was based on that the Ministry developed a working programme for 2016-2017,” The Professor revealed.
He said that based on his result-based approach and what he intends to do, he is looking at what he wants to achieve every five months until they get through the post ebola recovery date set out by the President.