Modern locally-produced rice presented to President Koroma
Two private indigenous companies, MARIKA ENTERPRISES and ARUL, owned by two enterprising Sierra Leoneans, Sahid R. Koroma and Duranette Davies, have presented bags of locally-grown milled and bagged rice, meant to be sold locally, to President Ernest Bai Koroma at State Lodge.
Briefing the President at the short but impressive ceremony yesterday 21st April 2010, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Sam Sesay, who accompanied officials of both companies, said the presentation included two consignments of rice that has been processed and packaged in Sierra Leone in bags of 10, 25 and 50 kilo grams. He informed the President that both companies have irrigated vast lands and planted thousands of acres of rice, adding that MARIKA had even gone beyond processing to manufacturing of high standard soap for hotels, palm kernel oil and organic manure for first-plough period.
He referred to the entrepreneurs as illustrious people who have heeded the call of the President to make agriculture a priority and join him in his Agenda For Change. Above all, the Minister noted, both MARIKA and ARUL have embarked on massive irrigation and not totally depending on rain, while he called on all other agriculturists to emulate their good example.
Speaking in the presence of an ECOWAS delegation and local bank officials, President Koroma said he and the nation are very happy and proud of the presentation, calling it a great moment of joy for the nation, â€œreflecting our past glory.â€
â€œI am very proud of you as young people, as this is development at its peak that would serve as an example to the entire nation,â€ he said, while commending the entrepreneurs for heeding his call to promote agriculture that would serve as an example to all Sierra Leoneans, including those in the Diaspora.
According to President Koroma, â€œwe should give ourselves a deadline to start to export rice. And therefore, as a people, we should be determined to feed ourselves as we approach our 50-year independence anniversary.â€ President Koroma called on all in the agricultural sector to massively embark on irrigation, as it would increase the yield, â€œtaking into consideration that we are blessed with the land and rain fall.â€ He commended the two companies and assured them of governmentâ€™s support at all times.
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