Information Directorate, Youyi Building, Sierra Leone, and Tuesday 16th July, 2018-
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Anthony Brewah has re-echoed government’s determination to transform the agriculture sector into a viable entity that would contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony of thirteen Motor bikes provided by the Small Holders Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project, (SCADeP) to Local Councils at the Fore court of Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown, the minister said the occasion marked another milestone in the collaborative effort between his ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. He said through mutual cooperation and collaboration, the two ministries have been able to promote smallholder’s commercialization through productive business linkages between smallholders farmers in the rural areas and selected agribusinesses. One of the objectives of the initiative he said is to build the capacity of state and non-state actors including his ministry, noting government’s strong conviction that agriculture holds the key to creating a diversified economy that will improve the lives of its people, especially the rural poor. The minister who handed over the motor bikes to representatives of the selected councils thanked SCADeP for the gesture which he said will go a long way in enhancing councils engineers’ abilities to supervise rehabilitation work on feeder roads in line with agreed specifications.
The Project Coordinator, SCADeP, Sullaiman Sesay said the gesture was in fulfillment of the councils expressed needs, pointing out that the key objective of the project is to commercialize agriculture, particularly for small holder farmers by supporting and linking them with agribusiness. In doing that he said the project encountered key challenges, one of which he said is access to banking.
In a bid to address the said challenge, Mr. Sesay said they support the rehabilitation of feeder roads in the districts, adding that they are targeting 500 Kilometers of feeder roads nationwide in partnership with local councils which have the mandate of supervising the work of contractors within their localities.
He intimated that the project started in November, 2016 and has completed the first set of feeder roads and also provided similar support to other implementing agencies including the provision of vehicles to ensure they deliver on their promises.
Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, the Chief Administrator of Moyamba District Council, Veronica Fortune, expressed profound thanks and appreciation to SCADeP and assured that the motor bikes will be used for their intended purpose.
Director of Rural Development in the ministry of Local Government, Michael Samai who chaired the programme, spoke of the existing cordial working relationship between SCADeP and his ministry and thanked the latter for its continued support. The councils which benefited from the donation were, Port Loko, Moyamba,Bonthe, Pujehun, Kailahun, Kono, Kenema, Bo, Koinadugu Karene, Falaba and Kambia district councils.
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