The ‘Feed Salone’ program is a major initiative to improve Sierra Leone’s agriculture, launched by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Musa Kpaka, in Kono. The minister’s visit was an opportunity to interact with various actors in the region, especially those related to the ‘Feed Salone’ project.
The minister started his visit by meeting with the Kono District Council Chairman, Mr. Augustine Sheku, in a private session to discuss the goals and plans of his engagement. He then spoke to different groups of farmers in Kono.
The Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Aiah Thorlly, praised President Bio’s dedication to agriculture. He said that the President’s goal of achieving food self-reliance in Sierra Leone through agriculture resulted in strategic appointments in the Ministry, such as Minister Musa Kpaka, who has a lot of experience in the sector.
The Chairman of the Kono District Council, Mr. Augustine Sheku, was hopeful about advancing agriculture in the district and highlighted the council’s crucial role in executing development programs. He encouraged NGOs and agricultural actors to work closely with the council to ensure that the support is effective and reaches the right people.
PC Foryoh, representing the Council of Paramount Chiefs in Kono, asked for more involvement of chiefs in program implementation for better oversight. Emmanuel Gborie, the District Secretary General of the National Federation of Farmers in Sierra Leone, gave suggestions for the ‘Feed Salone’ program, such as creating a central area for a core farm, supporting cattle farmers, and improving irrigation technology. In his main speech, Minister Musa Kpaka explained the six reasons for his visit to Kono. They were to introduce the ‘Feed Salone’ program to the people of Kono, to get feedback from local actors, to evaluate the ongoing Ministry projects in Kono, to form alliances on agricultural matters, and to clear up any rumours about Kono being left out of the ‘Feed Salone’ plan.
The Minister stressed that agriculture is Kono’s true potential, considering its rich soil and past focus on diamond mining. He assured the community that Kono was a vital part of the ‘Feed Salone’ program, which aims to change the agricultural scene and increase the district’s role in national food security. The Minister also mentioned various issues, such as plans for the livestock sector and wider subsector transformation. MJB/15/1/2024