Five farming cooperatives groups from Kenema, Kono and Kailahun districts in the eastern region have received their cash prize awards and tools from the Sierra Leone Produce Monitoring Board for taking part in the second produce quality trade fair that took place in December 2018 at the show field in Kenema. Addressing beneficiaries before the distribution of the awards, the Administrative Manager Produce Monitoring Board Ibrahim Fofanah, said they are touring the nation to distribute the second quality produce fair award prizes to various cooperatives that won under various categories during the quality assessment at the trade fair held in Kenema based on the samples collected from various cooperatives. He said the essence of the yearly fair is to promote quality production and value addition in the produce sector there by creating the enabling market platform for farmers. He called on the farmers to always do their best in producing quality produce there by empowering them and gaining international recognition. The media and public relation officer PMB Judith Sannah said this year’s awards are for 12 cooperative groups across the nation with eastern region bagging 5. She disclosed that the items the awardees are receiving now is 50% of what they identified as their felt need of what they won that will improve on their farming activities, and the remaining 50% will be given to them before the next produce quality fair that will come up from the 11 to 15 December 2019 in Kenema. She further revealed that the executive chairman Dr. James Vibbi and his deputy Director Didan Sankoh were absent from the program because they are on their way to France to accompany Sahr Bangura from Kono district who won the cocoa excellence award in France when 50 cocoa samples were collected from Sierra Leone to the international market. She called on farmers to improve on their quality, adding, it is only when the farmer makes his produce have a desired quality, that will make it attractive in the international market and it will earn the farmer well.
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One of the beneficiaries Innatomah Kallon, who produce rice, encouraged all to go into agriculture, adding she has received her money and tools that will make her to work more and get more, she emphasised on backyard gardening that will take care of the home and family at all times. Some of the items won includes, prunning saws, dry floor, rice, pickaxe, wheelbarrow, Solar plastic drier, fermentation box among others. The following cooperatives won the 2018 awards : One Ward Farmers Cooperative Kambia, Best Quality Palm Oil Produce for 3rd position. Ogoo Farm Farmers Cooperative, Western Area Best Quality Rice Producer for 1st position. Ndevuyama Women’s Cooperative best quality rice producer for 2nd position. Roponlo Cashew farmer Association Kambia for best quality cashew producer for 1st position. Ladeka Farmers Association Kambia best quality cashew producer for 2nd position. SAPA Farmer’s Kambia for best quality cashew producer for 3rd position. Massimra Multi Purpose Cooperative in Port Loko for best quality palm oil producer for 1st position. Gao farmers Cooperative in Kailahun for best quality cocoa producer for 1st position. Luawa Farmers Produce buyers Cooperative in Kailahun for best quality cocoa producer for 2nd position. Life Line Cooperative group Kenema for best quality cocoa producer for 3rd position. Millenium cocoa Growers Cooperative in Kono for best quality coffee producer for 1st position. Tewoh Farmers Cooperative Kailahun for best quality coffee producer for 2nd position.
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