Farmers in the northern City of Makeni in the Bombali District are ready to fight against the global food crisis trend going on in the world.
Currently, from May about 7,024 acres of farm land were ploughed by some farmers through the help of tractors given to them by the government.
In an interview with the Bombali District Director of Agriculture Mr Henry Kargbo at his office in Makeni, he said that farmers used the opportunity given to them by the government to increase food production in the country.
Mr. Kargbo noted that the tractors farmers use are free of charge the only thing is that they buy fuel for the tractors.
The Agriculture Director said that, the farmers are very determined to use the opportunity given to them by the government in order to increase their productions.
Currently he said there is momentum and willingness and commitment on the farmers to tackle the food crisis within this year.
The farmers Mr. Kargbo said have harrowed 4,089 acres of land and 7,200 are being seeded and harrowed.
The District Director revealed that farmers are given rice seeds on credit to plant and at the end of the planting season farmers return the seeds with interest on it.
For the past years he pointed out that farmers owed government 21,753 bushels of rice from 2004 to 2006 outstanding loans and because of that government decided not to give seed rice on loan anymore.
Mr Kargbo maintained that this current government with the commitment in its manifesto decided to give seed rice to farmers with strict conditions in the form of loan application.
After the application he stated that the government will then give certificates to farmers which the farmer will use to collect the seed rice, adding that government gives the loan on the ploughed land that the farmer has.
He stated that 40% of the farmers benefiting from these loans are women farmers from the Sella Limba chiefdom.
These women farmers he said have plough 790 acres of land in May and they are still requesting for more tractors.
Also a prominent farmer in Mabai village in the Pakimasabong chiefdom in Magburaka Alie Sesay said that they (farmers in Mabai) are thankful and grateful to the government for providing tractors and seeds for them.
Before he said, they found it difficult to plough and cultivate their farm land. But now with the tractors given to them it has increased their production and lessened their work load.
Mr. Sesay said that he receives seed rice on loan during the planting season and that he has been successful over the past years.
With the help they got from government and UNDP farmers in Mabai village have increased their food production.
The farmer asked government to provide subsidies for them as it will encourage them to focus on agriculture instead of diverting their attentions.