Hundreds of Cocoa farmers from Tegloma Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative in Kailahun District, Munafa Cocoa Farmers’ Cooperative in Kenema District and Kasiyatama Cocoa Cooperative in Kono District on Friday 29th July 2011, assembled at Capital Hotel Compound and processed through Mission and Combema Roads up to the main hall of the Government Secondary School.
The Project Coordinator, Rural and Private Sector Development Project (RPSDP), Peter M. Kaindaneh who also served as chairman of the meeting, said the Kayeigorma Company Limited (KCL) was established on 16th July 2010.
This was done with the financial and technical support from the Government of Sierra Leone’s Rural and Private Sector Development Project (RPSDP) financed by the World Bank, under the International Development Association (IDA) funding for low income countries.
Mr. Kaindaneh added that the Rural and Private Sector Development Project was designed to promote the production and marketing of specific agriculture crops which included Cocoa.
Making his statement, the Director of Investment at the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, Raymond Kai Gbekie, said the Investment and Export Promotion is responsible for foreign and domestic investment in Sierra Leone.
He stated that their target is to develop investment in the country, and he therefore urged all to develop their export and send it outside for business in foreign countries.
Gbekie also said the future of agriculture is very bright for Sierra Leoneans, adding that the farmers have created employment for themselves and their children and have also created foreign exchange for the country.
Speaking on behalf of World Bank, Charles Annor-Frempong expressed his happiness to attend the meeting.
He paid tribute to the Minister of Agriculture and Trade in ensuring that the project is executed and benefits rural farmers.
Frempong thanked the Government of Sierra Leone through whose vision the formation of this society was made possible by partnering with the World Bank to provide the resources for this effort.
He assured the farmers that they will continue to work with them, but the onus of responsibility, the judicious use of resources and showing results, will be a measure of their success.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mabinti Daramy in her address, thanked the women for taking the bold step to come forward as cocoa farmers, and called on them to remain united in investing in agriculture, adding that her ministry wants them to benefit from the fruits of their labour.
By Saffa Moriba