Though it is a global predicament, Africa is grossly affected by the recent food shortage crisis beating the world.
To combat this quandary, agriculture has been identified as a solution and Sierra Leone has made its maiden move by establishing the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI).
SLARI, which is solely a government agricultural research and agriculture technology generating body in the country, is currently on a five-day strategic interactive session for proper structuring of the institute.
Throwing light on agriculture and poverty, the director of International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR), Prof Kwadwo Asenso Okyere said, “two things that impinged on Africans a lot more are hunger and poverty. These are two big enemies we have. In most places poverty is about 50% and hunger goes also beyond 50%, so it is time for us to pay particular attention as to how we can reduce this sought of thing.”
Prof Okyere heightened that, “with many of our population working in agriculture I believe the best way to tackle poverty and hunger is to pay particular attention to agriculture…not to keep so many people in there, but to increase the productivity of agriculture.”
“Science and technology play a very important role in trying to improve the productivity of the African farmer,” he said.
Prof Okyere explained that the potential was there and that “we need to make the move by exploiting it to remove poverty in our systems, if we don’t do that then we will still remain in poverty.”
The interactive session coordinator, Prof Edward R. Rhodes, explained about SLARI Act and implementation stating that the initial steps in the implementation of SLARI consisted of the appointment of the chairman of the SLARI council and the inauguration of the council in February this year. Speaking on levels of planning, he said, “planning can take place at various levels…these plans should not conflict as the objectives of a lower level should contribute to the achievement of the objectives of a higher level.” He explained that the ten-year strategic plan would be developed using the logical framework approach that was used by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF).
By Ophaniel Gooding