An interview with Professor Monty Patrick Jones, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Secu
Ebola don go, leh we make Salone grow!
The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security lead planning and delivery in this priority sector.
Key results areas are to:
Create 10,000 agricultural jobs across key agriculture value chains
Support 1,000 MSMEs to increase their competitiveness, including agribusinesses across key value chains
Capt. Momodu Allieu Pat-Sowe, Minister of Trade and Industry:
"The Ebola crisis severely impacted local businesses. Our goal during the Recovery period is to support 1,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across key value chains to become more resilient and increase their competitiveness.
"We will do this by creating an enabling environment for MSMEs, connecting them to markets, and helping them access affordable finance and assistance to help their businesses grow.
"In the Early Recovery phase, we legislated the creation of agencies to support SME and local content development. These will become fully operational and, at the same time, we will focus on increasing the effectiveness of commercial justice and developing the capacity of the Standards Bureau, Produce Monitoring Board, Produce Marketing Company, and SLIEPA.
"Working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security to add value to Sierra Leone’s farm products and find new markets for them, notably by increasing the quantity of locally-sourced crops for security forces and other public institutions, will contribute to increased marketing and business opportunities in the sector, which will in turn improve living standards of Sierra Leoneans and boost our economy."
Prof Monty Patrick Jones, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security:
"Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and our vision is for a vibrant, productive agricultural sector that creates jobs for youth, boosts growth, lifts vulnerable households out of poverty, and takes the country closer to our goal of food self-sufficiency.
"Our recovery strategy focuses on improving the agriculture and livestock sector’s productivity and value addition of locally- grown products. We will do this by tapping into opportunities presented by our agribusiness sector, including outgrower schemes that integrate smallholder farmers in the value chains.
"Farmers are already receiving quality inputs and training in modern farming techniques, which will improve yields as early as next harvest. 52 Agricultural Business Centres will be overhauled and agro-processing facilities will be serviced and upgraded. Over 1,000 kilometres of feeder roads will be constructed to help farmers get their produce to markets. We will also rehabilitate land and swamp cultivation to increase Sierra Leone’s production of staple and cash crops such as rice, oil palm, cocoa, coffee and cashew, and promote reforestation.
"These measures will help create 10,000 more jobs across key agricultural value chains."