Abdul Raman Fofanah the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry confirmed to AYV that they have heard of the outburst of the alleged Plastic rice in the country about a month ago, and as responsible, supervisory Ministry they have made thorough enquiring into the market and noticed that the rice was imported by Commodity Trading Company. Fofanah further stated that they rely on standards Bureau for an experimental result on the said substance containing plastic and that of which would trigger an action.
Recent pronouncement by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development indicated that the country spends over one Hundred Million dollars annually on rice importation. On the issue of the alleged influx of plastic rice at Gbekeh Market in Grafton community, most people said that little or nothing has been done by the Ministry of Agriculture to rescue the country from this scary and appalling situation.
Head of Public Relations and Communication in the Ministry of Agriculture Abu Bakarr Daramy responded by initially blaming every Sierra Leoneans for not being able to establish two hectare farm land. He further explained that rural-urban migration has hindered the progress of agricultural productivity, especially the production. However, Daramy encouraged Sierra Leoneans to focus on agriculture “our population is about 7.2 million, if we can get 2 million people in to active agricultural production, I am sure we will be able to provide rice for the entire country. My ministry is responsible to coordinate agricultural activities for all and sundry” Daramy added
Public Relations Officer at the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau Abu Bakarr Bah said the rice that was forwarded to them by the Ministry of Trade some months ago proved to be free of plastic substance based on their laboratory analysis.
Meanwhile, several moves have been made by AYV to the country director for the Commodity Trading Company Khalil Halloway to get their take on the story; unfortunately Khalil Halloway deliberately refused talking to the press. He honestly treated the matter with levity.