“Women have done 85% of farming, but have to make a request before they even get food to eat,” said the chairperson of the Bombali District Women Farmers Association (BDWFA), Madam Josephine Kanu.
Speaking recently at the Open Government Initiative (OGI) Secretariat in Bombali District, Madam Kanu explained that this is one contributing factor to the increasing poverty rate amongst women.
After the war, she said, “we decided to come together to farm. We have decided to work so that we can reach other women who will otherwise not have the opportunity to come to Makeni or go to Freetown to ask for help or find better ways of marketing their commodities.”
She revealed that with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO, they have been able to organize themselves, at Section, Chiefdom and District level, and they now have a District Executive body for the group that covers the entire Bombali District. This year “we have been farming while some unscrupulous farmers sit back only to blame Government, complaining that we have too many farmers.
But the reality is that most of them now complaining were portfolio farmers who went to Freetown in the past only to lobby with the authorities.
They were given tools and seedlings while the real farmer who did the actual farming went without benefiting from these Government initiatives,” she explained.
With the help of the Ministry of Agriculture, madam Kanu explained that “this year, we have been doing farming even though we were not sure that we would be able to accomplish this much. What we have accomplished this year is unlike the past when Government gave seedlings to farmers but got no result”. Madam Kanu explained that we were able to get tractors; but that the tractors are not enough for the farmers, as there is vast land waiting to be utilized. The BDWFA chairlady explained that food security in Sierra Leone is at a crucial stage, and as such everyone should be serious about it.