President Bio Launches Presidential Council on Feed Salone, Declares Agriculture as Top Priority

President Dr. Julius Maada Bio officially inaugurated the Presidential Council for Delivering the Feed Salone Initiative on Monday, October 9, 2023, emphasizing the critical importance of agriculture to the nation’s future. The establishment of this Council aligns with President Bio’s commitment to prioritize agriculture and food security during his second term in office.

The Feed Salone initiative, unveiled as the flagship program, is designed to realize President Bio’s vision of revitalizing the agriculture sector. The primary objectives of this initiative are to achieve food sovereignty, generate employment opportunities, reduce hunger, and stimulate economic growth throughout Sierra Leone.

Addressing the Council members during the launch ceremony, President Julius Maada Bio underscored their expertise and their pivotal role in ensuring food security. He acknowledged past attempts to address the nation’s food challenges and called on the new generation to rise to the occasion.

“This is a working group,” President Bio asserted. “We cannot afford to fail. Food is a matter of survival, and we cannot continue to rely on food produced elsewhere while we grapple with food crises. We have vast arable land and ample rainfall; we need to blame ourselves for not harnessing these resources efficiently.”

President Bio stressed that the Council’s overarching goal is to feed Sierra Leone comprehensively. He highlighted that the Council, in collaboration with the Presidential Initiative led by Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkela, would involve a diverse range of stakeholders, including researchers, bankers, farmers, nutritionists, civil society, the private sector, and politicians. The President emphasized that “feeding Salone is about all of us.”

“We have gathered a multitude of experts from various fields,” President Bio continued. “Together, we can lead an agricultural revolution that will set an example. The Council’s work is vast, spanning multiple Ministries and expert groups. We must identify our needs and execute them with excellence, even if it means we have to get our hands dirty on the farm. Agriculture is the foundation of industrialization, and we must stimulate economic growth through this initiative.”

President Bio outlined the importance of incorporating technology and modern agricultural practices to ensure success. He urged the Council to explore innovative approaches, stating, “We cannot rely on traditional farming methods. Let’s employ techniques that have been proven successful elsewhere. Feed Salone is not just about me; it’s about our nation’s collective progress.”

Several key figures also made significant contributions during the launch event, including Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Chairman of the Presidential Initiative on Agriculture and Climate Change, Dr. Alfred G.O. Dixon, Dr. Roland Suluku, private sector representatives, and Government officials.

Dr. Henry Musa Kpaka, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, emphasized the Council’s vital role in addressing cross-cutting issues affecting the Feed Salone Initiative. While his Ministry would lead technical aspects, the Council, chaired by President Bio, would facilitate support in resolving challenges, coordinating investments, ensuring policy consistency, monitoring implementation and advocating for the initiative’s success.

The Feed Salone Initiative, with the newly established Presidential Council at its helm, holds the promise of transforming Sierra Leone’s agriculture sector, ensuring food security, and stimulating economic growth, thus securing a brighter future for all Sierra Leoneans.


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