At the recently concluded National Rice Conference, the Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security, Dr Sam Sesay has disclosed to Awoko that a task force has been setup which will provide production, processing and marketing technology for quality rice production in Sierra Leone.
“The workshop has agreed to the setting up of a task force, headed by Rice Economics Specialist, Dr Dustant Spencer, assisted by another Rice Technology Expert Dr Abdulai Jalloh,” he said.
The minister intimated, “this time round we have added people who are experts in value addition, that is people who will provide the technology in terms of production, processing and marketing.”Out of a team of eight, Dr Sesay revealed, “about five have to do with technology,” adding that “this team will now take the framework that has been adopted for the development of a strategy to full formulation.”
The minister also disclosed that government’s role with regards to the development of the rice sector is going to be that of a facilitating one, by creating the enabling environment for those in the rice business. “We have liberalized the economy” he said “the government should not go into direct intervention through the aged state farms, we can neither go into marketing, nor processing directly,” he said. He also said that government will not intervene in the Agricultural chain of input supply production, value addition, or agro-processing and marketing including export, but “will create the environment for the private sector which are the farmers and farmers based organizations, because they are investors,” he said
By Ophaniel Gooding