Billions of Leones have been provided as cash support to key Farmers’ Associations, Women’s groups and other Master Farmers across the country.
The Minister was joined by some Senior Ministry Officials, Members of Parliament and key stakeholders in the sector to hand over cheques to farmers in the north. Those who receive cheques are: Sierra Leone Women Farmers Forum in Port Loko, Kambia, Koinadugu Dictricts received Le25,000,000 (twenty five million Leones) each; Women at Work, Ernest Bai Koroma Development Farmers Association, Good Heart Farmers Association and Robin Farmers Association also received Le25millions each; and Baftan Kolo Women Farmers and Kelfine Agric Investment received Le50,000,000 (fifty million Leones) each.
The Minister with his entourage received massive welcome in all farming communities visited on Monday and Tuesday, 19th and 20th September respectively.
The Minister, Prof. Patrick Monty Jones described farmers as rich people in the world if only they are committed and dedicated to increase production and productivity. “I believe that giving financial support, seeds and tools to farmers to increase their yield, it will enable them become Managers,” he said, and further states that the incentives given to farmers will enable more people to come onboard farmers.
The Minister made it clear that based on progress, increased production and productivity, and good programmes more supports will be provided. He revealed that eighty percent of devolved funds from the Ministry should go directly to farmers.
Professor Jones implore farmers to make a great difference this year, and that they must work hard to increase production and productivity to at least 30% this year. “You must work hard to plant twice in every planting season especially those in land areas. The Minister commended President Koroma for his leadership and support to Farmers. He reiterated that the funds must be used for their intended purpose. “Please don’t let the President down,” he said.
The Deputy Director General in the Ministry, S.T. Kamara said the funds provided serves as a test case to farmers, and noted that additional funds will come if the funds are utilized well.