Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Agric. Ministry intensifies Oil-Palm planting in Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) has embarked on its second phase of a 3,500 acres palm-oil planting project at Mattru Jong, Bonthe District, in Southern Sierra Leone, a release from the Minister of Agriculture states.

According to the release, the second phase would also see the engagement of large numbers of youths and women. In addition, it will also take care of the construction of 300 houses for farmers and land-owners, as well as VIP toilets, water-wells, using solar system and motor roads network within the farms and villages of the project area. The project is expected to provide schools, places of worship and clinics for workers and land-owners.

The first phase of the project, which will involve the establishment of 250,000 oil palm nurseries and land preparation, has been successfully completed, the released affirmed, adding that a delegation of eight, comprising representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Land Development Authority of Malaysia and senior officials of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) are currently in Sierra Leone on a ten-day working visit.

The delegation, following a thorough inspection and assessment of field activities of the project, has expressed satisfaction over the way the first phase was implemented.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Dr. Sama Mondeh, during a courtesy-call on him by the team, expressed hope that the project will in the near future be replicated to other parts of the country.

"The project is expected to be terminated in 2010 and is funded to the tune of US $ 9 million by the Islamic Development Bank and the Malaysian Government," the release concludes.