The consultant for the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) for Sierra Leone; Prince Kamara has disclosed that the country needs $150 Million dollars if the country is to achieve food security by 2015.
Prince Kamara made this disclosure yesterday at a sensitization meeting with parliamentarians held at the conference room of the Ministry of Agriculture, Youyi Building, Freetown. The purpose of the meeting was for the Ministry to brief members of Parliament on the implementation of CAADP in Sierra Leone.
The meeting attracted dozens of parliamentarians, the Acting Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, Hon. Alie B Mansaray, the FAO Country Representative in Sierra Leone; Kelvin Gallagher and a galaxy of members of the CAADP Sensitization Committee.
In his submission, the CCADP consultant for Sierra Leone explained that about $10 Million is required for the Commodity Commercialization Programme in commodities like rice, cassava, fisheries and other export crops ; $130 Million for agricultural infrastructures like feeder roads,irrigation,markets and storage facilities; $10 Million for private sector development and $5 Million for national coordination mechanism.
To finance this project the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Parliament have a pivotal role to play. This is the major reason why the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization has decided to bring parliamentarians together to explain to them the nitty-gritty of the CAADP Process and what should be done to ensure that the country achieves food security by 2015.
The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Hon Sofian M. Kargbo said the huge turn out of MPs at the meeting is a clear manifestation of their commitment towards agriculture and the political will in the drive to achieve food security in the country.
He highlighted a list of measures that should be considered if the country is to achieve food security.
Some of the issues he raised include; the need for Sierra Leoneans to diversify their eating habits, the utilization of our water resources for irrigation purposes and most importantly to develop interest in the growth of other crops like maize which is more expensive than rice but is given lesser attention by our farmers.