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Sierra Leone’s Agriculture and food security enhanced by China

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Science Kumasi Agriculture
Agriculture

China plays a significant role in the development of Sierra Leone’s agriculture and food security, said a senior Sierra Leonean official.

Agriculture is a top priority for Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio in the pursuit of sustainable economic development and social progress, said the country’s Deputy Minister of Information and Civic Education Yusuf Keketoma Sandi in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Mentioning the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing last week, Sandi said Sierra Leone is ready to deepen cooperation with China in various fields under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The combination of fertile land and mild climate in Sierra Leone allows it to cultivate a wide variety of crops, with rice being a staple food for the locals, said Sandi.

However, the rice production falls short of the demand of the citizens, resulting in the country’s heavy reliance on food imports, he added.

He appreciated China’s assistance in enhancing the country’s agriculture sector, including providing a large quantity of rice, training programs in the sector’s development and investment, and agricultural equipment.

“We have received training from Chinese experts, who have taught Sierra Leoneans how to operate the machinery and tools we’ve received in various farm centers across the country, which significantly benefited rice production,” Sandi said.

For decades, China has dispatched agricultural experts to Sierra Leone to carry out technical cooperation, and thousands of local households benefited from these projects.

Noting that agriculture represents a rapidly growing area of China-Africa economic cooperation, Sandi said that African countries could benefit through initiatives like the BRI and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to expand collaboration with China in the agricultural sector.

“We want to move from small-scale rice production to mechanized farming. Our government is committed to working with the Chinese to achieve high agricultural yields,” Sandi added.

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