The Sierra Leone Chamber of Agriculture has with the help of a German consultant developed a draft Strategic Plan to address strategic issues like private sector promotion, financing, access to know how, business and market information, marketing standards and last but not least capacity building of the Chamber itself.
The German consultant Dr. Joachim Pfeiffer from the Senior Expert Service of Germany who came to give some technical assistance to the Chamber spearheaded the drafting process of the strategic plan and has finally handed the 50 pages document to Mr. Sansui S. Deen, Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Agriculture.
Speaking to Awoko in an exclusive interview Dr. Pfeiffer said the Senior Expert Service is a non-profit organization mobilizing retired professionals for volunteer activities in the framework of international cooperation. He said about 8,000 highly qualified Senior Experts provide their lifetime experiences in order to contribute to the economic development of the host nations on technical assistance basis, without commercial interests. They have retired on full pay and thus are in a position to work on honorary basis, with the support of the German government, helping developing countries.
The consultant said the draft strategic plan will go a long way in improving the Chamber’s technical and human resource capacity while he added that presently the chamber has a weak and young membership.
The German Expert further intimated this press that the Sierra Leone Chamber of Agriculture (SLCoA) in August 2009, asked for assistance in developing a 5-year organizational and operational plan for the Chamber, a fund raising plan, and the development of its human resource capacity.
“Being the principal private sector partner of the Government for promoting private investments in agriculture in Sierra Leone, SLCoA is to become an effective organizer, facilitator and advocate for its membership, their issues and needs.
Clearly, effective support for farmers and agribusiness is urgently needed in Sierra Leone and the expectations of the members of the Chamber for technical services are great. Private farmers of all categories and businesses need assistance and support in the areas of production, processing and marketing” the consultant recommended.
The strategic issues have to be broken down into projects outlining details for implementation. Capacity building of the Chamber and particularly of its human resources is addressed.
Dr Pfeiffer said for a retired agricultural economist who has spent many years of his professional career in West Africa and who was assigned to the GTZ BoPujehun Rural Development Project 25 years ago, “I found the assignment a challenging task, indeed. The fact, that the Chairman of the Board of the Chamber, Mr. Sanusi Deen, is the Representative of the German Senior Expert Service in Sierra Leone has certainly facilitated the arrangement with the German partners.”
“It was a great pleasure for me, returning to Sierra Leone after 25 years and working with the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, Donors, NGOs, farmers and the newly appointed Executive Secretary Mr Ahmed Nanoh and staff of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Agriculture in developing the strategic plan of the Chamber” he concluded.
The Chairman of the Board of Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce Sansui S.Deen thanked Dr. Joachim Pfeiffer for developing a strategic plan that will be used for the operation of the Chamber to achieve its goals.
Dr Jochen Pfeiffer returned to Germany on Monday April 12, 2010 at the end of his assignment.