Speaking to journalists from different media houses, the Project Manager of the AUK Food Security Project, Mohamed Sahid Kargbo said an estimated one thousand bags of rice will be harvested from more than120 acres of rice fields in November this year.
He said they have done effective field clearing, weeding and applied fertilizer at the Gbomtarawallie farm and we are satisfied with the current growth of the different crops.
Describing Ansumana Usman Koroma as the farmers’ hero, Mr. Kargbo further said they have done the first harvest of sweet potato in one of the villages (Mayorba) with a harvest of 34 bags. According to the Project Manager, the AUK Food Security Project is in its pilot phase which is expected to be rolled over to the 190 Chiefdoms in the country with different verities of crops. Mr. Kargbo added that this project will make enormous contribution towards the realization of one of the key pillars of the Agenda for Prosperity, which is economic diversification and increasing agricultural productivity.
With over six villages currently benefiting from this project, AUK believes that agriculture should be the major engine for socio-economic growth in the country. Mr. Kargbo further noted that this initiative has attracted a lot of farmers who need support and several villages such as Gbere, Mabureh, Mabaysor, Makprr I and Makapre II are preparing for a bumper harvest of sweet potatoes and cassava in December, 2017.
At Makprr two village, Chief Ya Alimamy Kamara said since the ascension of President Koroma to political power in 2007, AUK has attracted meaningful investors and provided support to Sierra Leone that worth millions of United States dollars.
She said AUK is a man who upholds the popular dictum ‘eat what you grow and grow what you eat” combines with his strong belief in food sovereignty. She stated that AUK is expanding his patriotic heart to the agricultural sector of Sierra Leone, stressing that actions towards the development of Sierra Leone over the years have shown that his heart is in its right place for the people of Sierra Leone.
She disclosed that AUK has invested in farming growing various food products like rice, potatoes, cassava, maize, yam, groundnuts and vegetables. Over five hundred Sierra Leoneans are currently benefiting from this project dubbed ‘AUK Food Security Project’ presently in Fogbo village-Koya Chiefdom Port Loko District, Magbass village in Tonkolili District and at Mayorba village in Bombali District Northern Sierra
The Farm Coordinator for Fogbo village Ibrahim Sorie Kamara told AYV that followers of AUK see him as a highly discipline man who has imbibed important values like respect, honesty and fairness. According to the Coordinator, AUK has excellent leadership skills and a personality that transcends tribe, region, religion and gender.
At the Makarie Gbanti Chiefdom, Mr. Census Kamara, the Farm Coordinator of the AUK Food Security Project at the Gbomtarawallie Farm site, said AUK’s international campaigns for gender equality, human right, press freedom, social justice and youth empowerment earned him many awards and the Pride of Australia Awards as the only Sierra Leonean.
He went further to state that the All People’s Congress (APC) is AUK’s childhood political party, adding that AUK has got a good understanding of how the APC evolved over the years which has certainly broadened his knowledge on politics in Sierra Leone. He is a strong pillar of the APC Australia Branch.
Born in Makeni, Bombali District in Northern Sierra Leone, AUK attended the Government Secondary School in Bo and proceeded to Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1986. He got his Post-Graduate in Education in 1987. In Australia, AUK studied Public Sector Management from Flinders University and a double Graduate Diplomas in Community Services and Frontline Management.