Mousa E. Massaquoi: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 September 2018:
A female farmer in constituency 101, Pujehun district – Madam Hawa Bangali Kallon (alias Akpajie), has called on the government and other development partners to help her farming organization to embark on mechanized farming.
The call came as her farming group – Muyengay Development Farmers Association, harvests 180 acres of rice cultivated at Jendema for the local community. She calls on the government and other development partners to help provide dry floors, stores, machines that parboil the rice, rice mills and also with sanitary as well as water well facilities.
She said even though she did not get the SLPP symbol in the primaries, she did not run away from her people. “After election, it is now time for development and the welfare of my people is still paramount. And that is the reason (why) I went ahead and did the farming. The farm land is 100% financed by me and I was the one who provided the machinery and the seed rice”, she stated.
She explained that she has been doing farming in her mother’s hometown of Senehun, Moyamba district for over four years, and this is the second successful farming in Jendema.
She said last year, she cultivated 60 acres of land for 50 families and this year she cultivated 180 acres of land for 100 families, stating that next year, they are planning to utilise more acres.
She disclosed that her farming activity is a non-profit making venture.
She stated that, “Food sustainability is my goal and to drive hunger in that constituency is my vision. My people can only feel the rainy reason by the rains itself but they cannot feel it because of hunger.”
Madam Kallon maintained that if there are three of them in the community with the same vision for the people, she believes that in the next couple of years, the constituency will be exporting rice to other constituencies and to other countries.
“Originally, 100% of the seed rice was provided by me and it was given to farmers to farm. Any amount given to a farmer after harvesting will return the same amount of seed which will be given to other people for the next planting season,” she maintained.
“The more the yield is improved, the more stable the community will be. As we all know food is a very fundamental tool for development. That is why the government should sponsor us to engage in mechanized farming,” she appealed.
She concluded that if the government listens to her call, at the end of the day it will be a win-win situation for the families and the government as a whole.
Agriculture must be number one in any country. There should not be any gender discriminate in agricultural productivity.
Mechanical engineering and cultivation – if the staple food must be a priority.
Very good example. and as a man who lived in different African countries I can only repeat – the African women are the mainstay of the economy.
I hope the government will support them with cheap credits and infrastructure for the villages, so that more young people will stay at the countryside and not run to the cities.