Farmers receive more support from Agricultural Ministry
The Mamuntha Development Farmers Association is well set to help the government achieve its vision for the agriculture sector, which is increasing production and productivity and commercialize agriculture. Seven villages in the Kholifa Rowala Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District are currently utilizing the land left by the Chinese Company, Magbas Sugar Complex, to cultivate 2, 100 (two thousand one hundred) hectares of rice. The hardworking farmers are expected to get 126, 000 (one hundred and twenty-six thousand) bags of 50kg rice after storing about 3000 (three thousand) seed rice for the next planting season. (Photo: Agric. Minister Prof. Jones handing over a cassava Grater Machine in Kono)
The organization received a cheque of Le25, 000, 000 (twenty-five million Leones) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security over the weekend.
The farmer pledged their commitment to cultivate a total of 2, 400 hectares in the coming planting season. They called on the Ministry to provide spare parts for their machines, tractor, threshers, harvesters etc.
The Minister of Agriculture, Professor Monty Patrick Jones appealed to the farmers to cultivate soya bean after harvesting the rice, which the Ministry will buy from them. “You have a very fertile land that you should make good use of,” the Minister said, and added that his Ministry is committed to make Tonkolili attain its lost glory in rice cultivation and supply to the nation. “Your objective should be 4 to 5 tonnes per hectare in the low land. We will do everything humanly possible to support you,” Prof. Jones assured.
In a related development, the Minister of Agriculture presented a Cassava Grater Machine to the Grassroots Women Farmers Association in Kono District over the weekend. He expressed gratitude for the good works of the Women in Kono for their effort to add value to cassava. “I hope other women across the country will emulate this good example,” the Minister said, and further revealed that he will be meeting with two Investors that have shown their commitment to invest in cassava, cocoa, coffee and other cash crops cultivation and processing in Kono District.
The Minister later met with Farmers, Agriculture Ministry Staffs and Local Authorities in Kono where he shared with the Presidential Vision on Agriculture as contained in the Recovery Priorities of Government. He informed that they must help government achieve food self-sufficiency in the country. “We cannot continue to spend over $160million to import rice and other commodities like vegetable oil and onions when we have the capability to cultivate them in our country,” Professor Jones said.
A representative from the Office of the First Lady, Mrs. Florence Sesay reiterated the Kono Women’s relentless effort in enhancing agricultural production and productivity in the country. She admonished the Ministry to support women in the agriculture sector, because, as she puts it ‘they are capable to feed the nation’.
Speaker after speaker, including Paramount Chiefs pledged their commitment to make agriculture a top most priority in the District.
Earlier, the Minister took the opportunity to present cheques to farmers’ organizations in the north, which will enable them improve on their farming business.
The following organizations received Le25, 000, 000 (twenty five million Leones) each: Shield Development Group from Port Loko, Ed. Love and Co Agric Suppliers, Tawopaneh Women and Youth Farmers, Bongo Women Farmers Association, and Mabomberreh Agricultural Association in Tonkolili.
The recipients are expected to utilize the cash support for their intended purposes and at the end of the day forward a comprehensive report with supporting documents to show how the funds from government are spent.
By Contact Tracer
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