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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

ABC cries foul

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ABC cries foul

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The government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, established ABCs across the country as a way of providing storage and marketplaces for farmers who cannot transport their produce to the various provincial headquarters.

In an interview with one of the senior committee members who doubles as the caretaker of the two ABCs in Luawa Baoma, Kailahun District, Ardu Momoh, submitted that farmer’s attitude of demanding high prices is affecting their operations.

Kailahun is well known for its large agricultural productivity of cacao, rice, plantain, cash crops and fruits, because of its beautiful soil and location.

According to him, among the two ABCs in Luawa Boama, one is for rice mill and the other for cacao and other products. Describing the mileage and distance, he said Luawa Baoma is about seven miles from Kailahun, noting that since the establishment of the ABC in their section, farmers are reluctant to take their produce there for sales.

The caretaker stated that their action negatively affect the operation, as the income generated from both the rice mill and cacao ABC being used for the development of villages around the section.

He noted that: “With the limited amount received, we are unable to provide support to all the surrounding villages. We have supported the construction of a court ‘barray’ and community water-well project in two communities, and presently we are thinking about supporting other communities. But the farmers are not cooperating with us”.

He explained that they usually rent the ABC to big agricultural organizations for operations that last for a specific period of time, the income generated from such activities was deposited into the ABC’s community bank account, for safe keeping, as senior community members are the account signatories.

Most of the farmers expressed dissatisfaction over the operations of the ABC in their section. They claimed that the prices paid for their produce are extremely low and that they cannot do anything serious or beneficial out of it.

They admitted that they are selling their produce to individual business people’s who normally paid higher prices as opposed to what has been given to them by the ABCs operator.

Chairlady, Farmers Association, Madam Hawa pointed out that they are cooperating with the ABC because they are aware of the fact that the money’s received by the ABCs operations are used for community development projects. She finally urged that the prices paid for their produce should be increased, to enhance better cooperation from their side.

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