Fresh Salone to start exporting vegetables to European markets

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 July 2020:

Last Friday, the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) visited one of Sierra Leone’s newest farm produce exporting companies – Fresh Salone (SL) Ltd in Kobbaya, Kaffu Bollum Chiefdom, in the Port Loko district, as the business prepares and get ready to start vegetable exporting to the European Union Market.

Mr. Jonathan Rosenfeld – Managing Director (MD) of Fresh Salone, said his farm is certified to produce vegetables for export, and that he is aiming to export about 10 tons of fresh vegetables and frozen leaves every week to the European Union market through clients in Belgium, who will subsequently distribute the produce to other European countries.

He said he is planning to start exporting next month, with a container of frozen cassava leaves.

Five exporters of agricultural produce have formed the Federation of Agricultural Produce Exporters (FAPE-SL) with more members to join, Mr Rosenfeld said. They will also be processing hot sauces and dried fruits for the local market as well as export.

Mr. Rosenfeld spoke about the support he has received from SLIEPA, which he said has been very much instrumental to his success, especially in helping to engage and build relations with the local community.

He also commended the part played by other institutions including the Ministry of Trade and Industry in helping his business prepare for exporting, after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Rev. Abraham Sesay Jones, said his ministry supports the investment, which he said should be regarded as an eye-opener for Sierra Leoneans as to what is [possible.

He said that the strategic role of the Ministry of Trade and Industry is to strengthen economic growth and reduce poverty in Sierra Leone.  He encouraged Sierra Leoneans to follow the example  of Fresh Salone to acquire wealth through enterprise and investment, and eliminate poverty in line with the vision of President Bio.

He said, a lot of good things has happened under the New Direction Government and there is a lot more to come, as he thanked the members of FAPE-SL and assured them of the Ministry’s fullest support in their effort to leverage foreign exchange for their business.

The deputy minister also said that they want to support the private sector with an upcoming micro-credit scheme for everyone that wants to start a business.

Mr. Sheku Lexmond Koroma, the Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) said that the decision of Fresh Salone to export vegetables is important because it reduces the country’s balance of payments deficit.

He said that SLIEPA has been part of the success of Fresh Salone, and that such an achievement of  exporting 10 tons of fresh vegetables, can only happen with the support of the New Direction Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and SLIEPA.

He also said that the Government of President Bio will continue to support Mr. Rosenfeld, and that his investment is well protected, as his success will attract other investors to come to Sierra Leone.

Mr. Koroma appealed to the traditional leaders and the community to collaborate with Fresh Salone for the good of the country and the community.

Local Chief of Lungi Section, Alimamy Samba Dumbuya II, on behalf of the Paramount Chief (PC) Bai Shebora of Kaffu Bullum Chiefdom, said that Fresh Salone investment is their baby, and assured that the community will wholeheartedly continue to provide security.

He said the Paramount Chief advised Fresh Salone to implement the government’s Local Content Policy in its employment strategy.

Source Credit: SLIEPA – Directorate of Marketing and Communication

17 Comments

  1. Thank you Mr Kalokoh, you know this western financial institutions were set up after the second world war to help a devastated Europe recover. The responsibilities of world bank and the IMF in their infancy was clearly mandated. The world Bank was to facilitate capital investment for reconstruction, whilst the IMF was to manage global financial system. At the time the US government decided to underwrite all the loans given to countries like the UK, Germany, Holland, and many others that didn’t fall behind the iron curtain. So because those countries were able to rebuild their economies through those loans, they extended the same help to the newly emerging African countries from colonialism starting in the sixties.

    As for Mugabe, he was trying to right a colonial legacy in which 5000 white farmers owned 80% arable land in Zimbabwe. The 1980 Lancaster agreement was through the support of the UK government, the Mugabe government will be given funds to buy back these lands from the white farmers. At some point the British government failed to honour the agreement, hence the seizure of white owed farms, and the economic sanctions that followed. So no investors came to Zimbabwe.

  2. Mr. Jalloh, wait, I thought aid to Africans are nonrefundable, and only given as a philanthropic gesture, which by popular belief is precisely due to the fact that the African is universally loved by men with astronomical wealth and far away financial institutions with equivalent opulence? All jokes aside Mr. Jalloh, but I seriously thought aid is not asked to be paid back, but rather free of charge are given as gifts from our international sympathizers. Now I understand that loans are refundable, but those are easily discerned, since the terms that are commonly attached to them are usually specified, thus making them distinguishable from any form of aid.

    Also, what do you mean by not wanting to sound negative? You don’t think there is a space for negativity in this multifaceted world that we’re dealt? I’m of the opinion that there is, being that without negativity there is no positivity. They are intrinsically incompatible, but the one cannot exist without the other, thus both should be embraced.

    Also, Speaking of Mugabe, I was never aware that investors were not welcome in his country during his tenure as president. I thought that he merely had issues with foreign investors coming in on their high horses and wanting to impose their will in the country. Nonetheless, I’ve a great admiration for the former and late president of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. I personally think that he was one of the greatest leaders that Africa has ever produced. The man stood for something real, went against giants, and lived after the fact, till it was time for him to go. What’s there not to like about the man? Sure, he received negative flack for taking back what was/is rightfully belong to him and the people of Zimbabwe, but to me his actions were warranted. He did what any man with any amount of testosterone would have done, given the situation that him and his country men was dealt.

  3. Thanks Mr Abraham, it is never too late to correct bad mistakes. The reality on the ground speaks for itself. Whatever efforts this government is doing is commendable. At least at long last some one has recognised the problem and is trying to fix it. It is commendedbale this government is trying to right a wrong that we all knew existed until recently. As a Fulani I knew the stick I used to get from fellow students. Some of the questions I used to get, how come you guys come over from Guinea and are able to make something out of nothing in this country?

    Well I used to fight back I tell them not all fulanis are from Guinea. Maybe, you should take a tour of Freetown, and other provincial towns, like Diamond rich Kono and count in your fingers how many local business enterprises are owed by your fellow Sierra-leoneans. I hope this government succeeds in promoting local businesses, because it is good for our country. We need a business class in Sierra-Leone. That might act as a counter-weight to the corrupt politicians that over the years have sold our country down the drain. May God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.

  4. My late father will be rolling in his grave with happiness. He always said God was a fair God and that Africa had what it takes to succeed and feed it’s people. So this is great news for our country.

    • Thanks Ms Natasha Banya, indeed God is fair to Africa. I wonder if there is no Africa to exploit how western countries would have developed. Just close your eyes and imagine Sierra Leone with all its human and natural resources, yet we are a country where pregenant women die trying to give birth, one of the highest in the subregion. Geographically, Sierra Leone is blessed with every thing a country needs to develop. The only course we got from God are unrepentant corrupt politicians. They have no interest in developing the country.

      In any Western country, you will be had pressed to come across citizens of other African countries that are doing okay. Gabon, Botswana, even Ghanaians, that their government had strived to make their quality of life in their own countries more rewading by staying back and contributing to nation building. And you compare that to our corrupt and politicised security forces, that are given the licence to kill anyone who raises their voice or disagrees with the government. The only citizens of African countries that are dying trying to cross the Mediterranean are the usual suspects, where dictatorship is the order of the day. May God bless Sierra Leone.

  5. This is a great move. Dynalab international SL Ltd has Vegetative DI Grow Liquid Fertilizer suitable for all plants and livestock. Jf you want to give it a try, contact me on my numbers +232 99 505 205 / Whatsapp +232 7^ 73 89 22.
    You will not regret it at all.

  6. Perfect to hear this wonderful news for my beloved country Sierra Leone. May God continue to bless my country and its leadership.

  7. Mr. Jalloh, it could be the ‘free money’ that we have been getting, and continue to get from foreign entities is what is given leeway and favoritism to foreigners, to come and physically colonize our so called economy. You know, the approved aid that we on this forum celebrate in a fashionable manner whenever the news break reporting their approval. Yes, those ones.

    Maybe we ought to create a state within a state, and form a governing body that functions independently from the one we have now, and foresee that we also extend a helping hand to the government by giving out free money, while simultaneously adding value to their cause. That way we also can assume business leverage and be able to invest in a country that is supposedly ours. What’s your say, Mr. Jalloh?

    • Mr M. Kalokoh you are right to suggest maybe it is the free money we are getting from western financial institutions. In reality, these monies we are getting from the IMF are being negotiated on behalf of all Sierra Leoneans. This is something we have to repay unless of course they decide to cancel the debt. As was the case few years ago. Right now every Sierra-Leonean is a debtor to these international financial institutions. Say for instance the latest batch of 40millon dollar aid for SMEs, you will find the bulk of that money will not reach the “PEPE WOMEN ” running their business in KROOTON ROAD.

      Rather the government will be seeking out established businesses, which come to think of it, is mostly foreign owed. I haven’t got any problem with that. Let me make my position clear, or I risk sounding like Mugabe. I don’t want anyone to start thinking or harbour any negative thoughts. Foreign owed businesses contribute greatly to our economy. My problem is with the governments that discriminate against their fellow Sierra Leoneans. Suffice to say it has been like that since the 70s. Sierra Leone is one of few countries in Africa, maybe I wil go further the only country, where when it comes to running the economy, or part of it we are treated like second class citizens.

      At the same time the government in dishing out these monies should think about the businessman running his small bakery shop, the small restaurant owener at Victoria park, the young barbers in Campbell street and many other businesses. REMITTANCE MONEY HELPS MORE TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY AND COMMUNITIES, THAN THE IMF LOANS THAT END UP IN THE POCKETS OF CORRUPT POLITICIANS. May God Bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.

  8. This is welcome news. I hope this government extend to Sierra Leoneans wanting to invest in our country, the same concession and protection enjoyed by foreign investors in our country. Majority of successful businesses in Sierra Leone are foreign owed. It is a damning indictment of how our governmens of all colours have abdicated their responsibility in favour of foreign own businesses, as opposed to the indigious population. Sierra Leoneans are industrious people. WE ARE NOT STUPID! Given the opportunity we will strive like everyone else. There are many businesses started by Sierra Leoneans, that are either cut short by government over-regulations, or what President Kabbah called “SALONE MAN GET BAD HEART FOR IN FELLOW SALONE MAN.”

    Instead of encouraging us to run our own small business, and thereby creating wealth and employment, many well meaning Sierra Leoneans will come with the big idea, and the sole purpose of investing, only for their businesses to be run to the ground, one for political reasons, which might explain why foreigners succeed where we fail. Or being harrassed by overzealous public tax officials. Whether you like it or not, even if you want to put yourself above the nasty politics of our country, there are some that would always like to pigeon hole you. In there tribalistic world you can’t be neutral. We need to create a business class in Sierra Leone. One of the ways government can facilitate this program, we don’t want a Mugabe style indignation, but rather the banks should issue government backed loans to any Sierra Leonean that present a working business model. Provide the traning for this new small and medium size business. Give them holiday concession on tax. It takes three years for a new business to start producing results. May God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone.

    • I am sorry you are not well informed about the tremendous effort this government is making to encourage and support the ordinary Sierra Leonean, to engage in serious, lucrative business in Sierra Leone. The Ministry of Trade and Industry supervises the LOCAL CONTENT AGENCY that was set up primarily to ensure, the active participation of Sierra Leonean people and materials in the dominant sectors of Trade, Business and Industry in the country.

      The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency is another outfit of government, to support SMEs in every sector of entrepreneurship. Please avail yourself sufficiently with all the opportunities available specifically to give Sierra Leoneans the advantage over foreigners to dominate the business environment in Sierra Leone, before you level out such baseless accusations, as you have done.

  9. Good to hear it – finally someone with a little common sense has decided to start somewhere,and rise from there as time progresses towards the enviable peaks of success.If Fresh Salone is able to meet the stringent food safety standards of European markets,compete gallantly and remain sustainable then without question,they should be considered as pacesetters worthy of emulation that are credible,strategic and competent enough to lead and show others the way. And there’s one more thing,those Criminal SLPP officials and their gap-toothed greedy cronies who are always on the prowl for money belonging to others should take their filthy miserable hands off this fragile little company still in its infancy,and cease from making any kinds of crooked outrageous financial demands that may somehow end up forcing such a viable promising admirable venture totally and deeply in the red.

    Again you guys should quit hanging around State House,waiting to be spoon-fed from our already scanty treasuries – ITS NOT A WELFARE HOME for the destitute.(lol) Elections have long been over – about damn time you inept tribalistic freeloaders find yourselves something profitable and beneficial to do.

    • Stargazer, you and your apc filty hands took all you can and hauled it out of the country. How come penniless people like Ernest is one of the richest ex presidents in the world? Origin of his wealth – people of Salone. Speak the truth, sir.

  10. This is definitely some welcoming news. Bravo to all the stakeholders that have worked behind the scenes to materialize this wonderful development for our local agricultural products. We are hoping more local products and content will be validated and allow to be exported to western nations. Our local farmers will surely benefit from this new development if manage properly by our government officials.

  11. What about UK market? It is not in Europe. Plenty of Salone people like Salone grown food,

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