World Food Day Celebrated in Port Loko, Sierra Leone

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By Sarah Kallay

As World Food Day was universally observed on the 16th October 2019, Sierra Leone celebrated the event in Port Loko with the theme “Our Actions are Our Future, Healthy Diets for a Zero-Hunger World” it could not be more adequate to describe a direct linkage between what we consume and how healthy we remain. A two-day exhibition was held from the 16 to 17 October 2019 to showcase various agricultural products.

According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Sam-King Brima, the exhibition is a trading opportunity for goods normally considered to be too expensive or hard to obtain from other districts, with groups of farmers converging for trade and networking opportunities, whilst discussing new methods proven methods for increasing harvesting speed and quantity.

“The previous strategies of direct support to farmers by availing them seedlings and fertilizers employed by other administrations have not yielded much and hence, new and long-lasting ventures needed to be instituted. Subsistent farming needs to be replaced by large scale farming methods to reduce importation and inflation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in partnership with all Ministries have been ensuring that this becomes a reality,” he underscored.

The medium-term national development plan and other Government policies in the last two years plot a complementary roadmap for food self-sufficiency  include research support (Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, Statistics Sierra Leone and Ministry of Planning and Economic Development) , road construction and transportation means (four lane Juba-Tokeh bridge, integrated resilient urban mobility project grant of $50million & Lungi bridge), market hubs ( proposed Lumley market, multi-purpose storage and car park, Koindu International markets) and fiscal support for Agro based organizations, all dependent on availability of finances. Some of these ventures already have been completed whilst others are ongoing or will be commencing soon, he noted.

There was an exhibition of foodstuffs and animals, cultivated and reared in the country. It was also a trading opportunity for goods normally considered to be too expensive or hard to obtain from other districts, groups of farmers converging for trade and networking opportunities and new methods for proven methods for increasing harvesting speed and quantity exchanged.

From freshly harvested items (cocoa, carrot, eggplants, palm kernels, fruits, pumpkins, corns and more) to processed ones (tinned fruits and vegetables, palm oil, Gari, cashew juice, cashew oil, and more), to livestock ( chickens, quails, turkeys, rams, rabbits and more), they were all transported from all corners to the hub for showcasing.

In attendance were several dignitaries from all political parties in support of the venture. Key affirmation and plea expressed by all, was the richness and vast variety of all goods shown and how the implementation of all the aforementioned projects will significantly resolve issues of food sufficiency and standard of living.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Dr. Kandeh Yumkella and Chairman of the National Grand Coalition lauded the exhibition stating that showcasing will directly link Agribusinesses.

Other important personalities also made salient contributions.

 

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