Sierra Leone Agriculture Ministry Deteriorates
Even though the Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), Professor Monty Jones (in photo) has been receiving so many accolades as an expert in agriculture, but poor Sierra Leoneans who find it extremely difficult to have meal a day are questioning on why food availability in the country is still a serious issue to be addressed by Government with all the professionalism of the head of the ministry.
It is a common understanding that prices of local food commodities keep sky rocketing by the minute because we are still using crude or ancient tools to perform agricultural activities in the farm. Using outdated tools like hoes, cutlasses, pickaxes, shovels and other primitive equipment’s is a subsistence system of farming in which farmers cultivated crops or rear animals in a small scale to feed themselves and family members only.
The Government should have by now put things in place to move from that archaic system of farming to mechanized agriculture where modern equipment like tractors, harrowers, ploughs among others are used to produce abundant food that would be presented in the market for sale.
Farming was attractive to young people in the days of our forefathers because Government was paying attention to improve the sector by providing necessary machineries to establish large farms but in this technological world, we are still using outdated utensils as a nation to work on our farms.
The Minister of Agriculture and all other officials were based or paying frequent visit to offer extension services to farming communities in the rural areas but today they preferred to sit under their air-conditioned offices talking about donor funds instead of going to the farm to perform practical work as done by local farmers.
Food insufficiency can only be a thing of the past in the country if agriculture is taken back to native farmers that work practically in the farm.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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