By Chernor Ojuku Sesay
Monday March 29, 2006
President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah over the weekend officially opened the Agricultural Show and Trade Fair held at Wusum Ground, Makeni on March 22 through March 25th this year in the Northern region, Bombali District Sebora Chiefdom. The need for the activities is to promote peace though Food Security and at the same time ensure that the road to food security is achieved.
The programme was conducted by farmers of the Northern province including persons from other business entities under the supervisioon of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security led by Dr. Sama Monde.
The programme attracted ministers including members of the diplomatic corps, international donor agencies like the FAO, UNDP and ADB. The National Farmers Association including members of the Farmers Business Unit, members of the Private Sector, Paramount Chiefs, District Councilors and a cross-section of the township.
President Kabbah thanked noted that the ceremony was centred around agricultural productivity which he said has risen up to 69%. The tremendous achievement gained, he added is making it possible for his dream to be achieved by next year. At the same time, he called on the people of Sierra Leone including partners in development to put hands- in-glove to work together harder than before for food surficiency.
In his remarks, Vice President Soloman Berewa disclosed that his purpose of coming to the Trade Fair, is to explain government’s position with regard the achievements made towards Food Security and not to talk on politics.
Vice President Berewa further noted that Food Security is his government’s primary cornern for now. He told his audience that what the government is undertaking regarding Food Security is spelt-out in the PRSP document. He said that in poverty alleviation, Food Security is one of the fundamental pillars of the eradication of poverty to be successful nationwide. VP Berewa stressed the importance that Food Security can create job opportunities for both male and female youths. He therefore encouraged the youths to work relentlessly with the government and donor partners for their personal development and for the betterment of Sierra Leone.
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Dr. Sama Monde disclosed to the audience that as the Food Security programme is in full swing, the government is making opportunities available to insure Food Security The availability, accessability and affordability and the right to food, Dr. Monde said, is a must. He further said that he has just ended distributing 51 tractors in the Northern provinces free of charge to the farmers, in order for them to do more work in cultivating larger areas for more productivity by the year 2007, which he said, is the vision of President Kabbah.
The representive of the FAO, Mr. Mohamed Fara said that, he is very happy about the achievements made in the promotion of the Food Security drive. He said the FAO’s intervention in the agricultural sector is to ensure that the Food Security drive proceeds and at the same time, the FAO ensures accountability in the micro-finance policy, planning and its implementation, Mr. Fara therefore called on the people of Sierra Leone to work harder in order to eradicate poverty.