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,
ewton, a field day and exhibition and Christian thanksgiving Service at the Faith Healing
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)