Minister of Information and Communication, Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, yesterday stated that, Sierra Leone has enough food to feed itself and that; we cannot talk about food security at the moment when we have enough to meet our food demand.
Speaking at the weekly press briefing organized by his ministry, IB Kargbo said, as a government, they are happy that, Sierra Leoneans are beginning to go into agriculture and that, the ‘tractorization’ drive by the government is beginning to yield dividends.
“Sierra Leone must be in a position to feed itself; that is the position of government”, Minister Kargbo said and disclosed that, it is only a matter of a political will from government to ensure the food problem in the country is resolved. Speaking further, the Minister said, they are looking forward to a fruitful harvest this year and that, when there is a good harvest the problems of food prices will begin to ease up as government is continuing to put structures in place to address the issue related to food scarcity
Meanwhile, upon the invitation of the Food and Agricultural Organization, the minister in charge of agriculture and food security, Dr Joseph Sam Sesay is due to leave the shores of Sierra Leone today for Rome to deliver a paper on the current global food crisis and he will specifically be looking at the response of Sierra Leone to the global food crisis. “The Minister is looking out for more strategies to solving the current food crisis. There are long and short term strategies and in the short term, we have introduced the ‘tractorization’ system”, Bernard Y Kamara, an aide to the minister disclosed to Awoko.
He stated that, the minister and by extension the government is making all effort to address the food issue. “This is a global crisis and it is affecting developing countries adversely’, Kamara said. The ministry is said to have identified five areas with a total of two hundred and forty one thousand hectares suitable for irrigation in the north and southern provinces. This is said to be part of the government’s long term strategy towards addressing the food issue in the country. There are plans also by the ministry to introduce a public/private partnership in providing the necessary contributions towards the issue. In another development, the information minster also told journalists that, his government will continue to allow the democratic culture to flourish in the country and that, the pending local council elections slated for July 5th will serve as a test case for his government in overseeing and conducting the elections. He said, those institutions setup by government will be allowed to function without interference by government and that, Sierra Leone has proved to be a good example in the conduct of elections.