By Abubakarr Harding
Sahid Abubakarr Bancie, the new Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Sierra Leone on Wednesday 27th July 2022 paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Finance at his George Street Office in Fee town.
Welcoming the new Country Representative, the Minister of Finance, Dennis K Vandi thanked the Food and Agriculture Organization for their interventions over the years and expressed willingness to cooperate and support the work of FAO in the country.
Minister Vandi furthered that Sierra Leone can achieve food sufficiency if the Government ,especially the Ministry of Agriculture, development partners like FAO and the private sector collaborate in agricultural research, soil testing and value addition.
He, therefore, asked the new Country Representative to leverage the opportunities of the South-South Cooperation to achieve that.
In his statement, the New Country Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization Sahid Abubakarr Bancie thanked the Minister of Finance for his time and support to FAO both as Minister of Finance and Agriculture.
He continued that FAO activities in the country are guided by the Country Programme Framework that supports the Government of Sierra Leone’s Medium-Term National Development plan priorities that are critical to agriculture and food security.
In his brief remarks, the Financial Secretary, Sahr L. Jusu, welcomed Mr Bancie, stating that the agriculture sector is one of the most financed sectors in Sierra Leone with several projects from development partners including FAO, World Bank, AfDB and others.
Sahr Jusu furthered that the Government is trying to bring all the partners together with the private sector together to discuss how to maximize food production.
He continued to state that apart from the direct support to the sector, the Government is losing about four hundred billion Leones on duty and tax waivers to agric. businesses
Mr Bancie who is moving from a similar position in Eretria is taking over from Ms Tipo as Country Representative of FAO in Sierra Leone.