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A delegation from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College to Sierra Leone,paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Agricultureand Forestry, Hon. Joseph Jonathan Ndanema and also held fruitful discussions with the Minister and staff of the Ministry. The nineteen man delegation led by Rear Admiral BeickBaffouv is comprised of commandants, Instructors and Students including Ghanaians, Nigerians, Zambians and Ivoirians attending the staff college. The theme of the visit is “Fostering an inclusive and Sustainable Development Agenda for Africa”.This theme is aimed at enhancing students’ view of global affairs with emphasis on the common factors and potential areas of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Ghana. Receiving the delegation at his Ministry’s conference room, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Joseph Jonathan Ndanema recalled fruitful relationship existing between Sierra Leone and Ghana in particular as well as with other African Countries. The Agriculture Minister informed the delegation that increasing Agricultural production and productivity is paramount in the new direction agenda of the Sierra Leone Government, with rice as the major focus. If our continent does not take the critical position to produce its own food, Africa will continue to spend billions of dollars to enrich foreign farmers through food importation, Minister Ndanema pointed out. It is against this background that his Ministry is currently focusing on the cultivation of large hectares of rice fields, livestock and tree crops production nationwide. Areas for possible collaboration and cooperation, the Minister noted, include capacity building for youths and women, Irrigation, Mechanization and Agri – business promotion. The Assistant Director of Crops in charge of Food Crops Production, Dennis Yankson, made a short but thorough presentation on the Impact of Agriculture and Food Security in Fostering an Inclusive and Sustainable Development Agenda for Africa. His presentation highlighted actions and progress made in the agriculture sector of Sierra Leone,, challenges, the way forward and areas for possible bilateral cooperation. Reported by the: Agricultural Information and Communications Unit (AICU) Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in collaboration with the Western Area Farmers Association Sierra Leone (WAFA-SL) has successfully concluded a four days farmer field day and exhibition at Newton, in the Western Area Rural District. Giving an overview of the occasion, the District Agricultural Officer, Western Area, Mrs. Jane Fae Kabba-Sei Sillah described the event which started on Thursday 14th March and ended on Sunday 17th March 2019, as a moment to bring solidarity and team spirit among farmers in both Western Area Rural and Urban and to send a signal to authorities that intensive farming is in progress in the District. The four day ceremony included a farmer’s parade from Newton Mini Stadium to the Newton Agricultural Station, an Islamic thanksgiving service at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Mosque, Newton, a field day and exhibition and Christian thanksgiving Service at the Faith Healing Church, Newton. Delivering the keynote address during the exhibition day, the Chief Agricultural Officer, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Amara Idara Sheriff who deputized his Minister, commended the Western Area Farmers Association for their team work and cooperation with the MAF Western Area District Staff in promoting increase agricultural production and productivity in the District. Mr. Sheriff reminded the farmers that increasing agriculture is the second priority of the New Direction Agenda of Government as it is paramount for the socio – economic growth of the country. It is against this background that the MAF has developed a National Agricultural Transformation Plan in which production of cereals, improvement of Livestock, vegetable and tree crops production and biodiversity conservation has been identified as the key domestic area to actualize agricultural transformation, he maintained. The Chief Agricultural Officer entreated the farmers to embrace agriculture as a business, so as to help Government reduce the over three hundred million ($300,000,000) dollars used annually to import food items of which rice importation alone accounts for two hundred million ($200,000,000) dollars. Government he added is working assiduously to address the challenges of input supply, access to loan and farmer training, among others. In his contribution earlier, the Chairperson of the Agricultural Committee in the Western Area Rural District Council, Mr. Abdul Karim Kargbo noted that the event was very historical as it is the first ever organized in the western area. He however expressed the concern of the District Council over the scarcity of suitable land for agriculture pointing out the heavy encroachment taking place for housing particularly on wetlands. Mr. Kargbo implored the authorities concern particularly the Ministry of Lands to help protect and recover farm lands especially wet lands and Inland Valley Swamps (IVS). Similar sentiments were expressed by the Member of Parliament Constituency 106, Hon. Mohamed Chernoh Kabia, representatives of the Freetown City Council, Non – Governmental Organizations, and the National Federation of Farmers of sierra Leone. Reported by the: Agricultural Information and Communications Unit (AICU) Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)

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Over fifty media houses drawn from various regions of Sierra Leone have on Monday 15th May been orientated on the Small Holder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP) at the Hill Valley hotel in Freetown. The orientation workshop was initiated to give a thorough understanding of the media on the Project Development Objectives and components of the project, its funding schemes to farmers, opportunities available for smallholder farmers in the country and the role the media can play in objectively and accurately reporting on the project in its five years course of operation. Formerly welcoming media practitioners, project coordinator of SCADeP Mr. Sorie Sulaiman Sesay underscored his strong support to creating fruitful partnership that fosters economic growth through agriculture and the SCADeP project. He said SCADeP has a strong collaborative approach with state and non state actors towards meeting its project development objectives thus supporting the idea of bringing together the media from all over the country to discuss what SCADeP is about, how it intends to undertake its programs and how the media can factor in the process for an accountable and transparent implementation.

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