Turkish investors sign $275 million Sierra Leone rice farming deal

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 September 2019:

The government of Sierra Leone early this week, signed a $275M investment deal with the Turkish SALA Group, for the resumption of largescale Torma Bum rice farming, which is expected to create more than twenty thousand jobs in Sierra Leone.

This will also help alleviate food poverty in the country as well as increase export.

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security last Monday, signed this important deal with the Turkish food producing giant (SALA) in Freetown.

It is understood that during the first phase of the project, about 54,000 hectares of rice will be cultivated, using the Wanje and the Sewa rivers for sustainable irrigation.

According to reports, the Government of Sierra Leone will not incur any cost in the development and delivery of the project.

This investment will help Sierra Leone achieve food self-sufficiency and save the country more than $200 million in rice importation annually. It will create more than 20,000 jobs for local people.

SALA’s Managing Director, Cemal Dogoa said they are pleased to have signed the deal work with the Government of Sierra Leone.


  1. I hope that this deal is with the full cooperation of local people and land holders in that part of the country. The Turks have already got huge investment in the country with its electricity ship which the capital city is enjoying – a contract that was renewed for the benefit of mama Salone when the SLPP party ascended the throne of governance last year.

    It is a good omen for the people of Sierra Leone when such deal is done with the best interest of the populace, and all stackholders are fuly involved in the negotiation and planning of the unused available lands for agricultural cultivation.

  2. The scepticism being expressed by some about this farming deal with the Turkish company is quite in place. But we do need large scale investment in the agriculture sector to meet our basic needs for the food items which we consume on a daily basis – principally rice. The government just has to ensure that whatever agreement is signed does not consign us to a life of being shackled in our own country, to be treated as second class citizens, which has been the tendency of those who mistake our endearing nature for inferiority complex.

    The only way President Bio can make us comfortable with any such agreement is to be open about it by allowing ordinary Sierra Leoneans to see the contract or agreement and, where need be, to express their opinion. Some of these companies tend to behave cavalierly when dealing with Africans,especially those that tend to treat them like gods. When they run into those that would sooner tell them where to go than listen to any rubbish their behaviour is different.

    It is however salutary to President Bio that he is making a conscious effort to diversify foreign involvement in the economy – it is not all Chinese, who would then be in the unique position to hold us at ransom at will. As we attract foreign investors in the agriculture sector we should encourage our young people studying agriculture to understudy them to place themselves in the position of not only being able to take over from them eventually but to even start their own brand new enterprises on land owned by them in the interior. The Ministries of Agriculture and Education must start doing some honest work in this regard.

  3. Signing a land deal to cultivate 54,000 hectares of rice, using the Wanje and the Sewa river, is another plot made by the government of Sierra Leone to put thousands of landowners and users out of job in Pujehun district. The inhabitants of Pujehun district have suffered a lot from largescale land acquisitions. In 2011 18,424 hectares of land acquired by SOCFIN oil palm oil Company in a controversial manner that negatively warranted the citizens of Shan Malen, Pujehun district.

    In January 2019, land conflicts erupted between community landowners, government security forces and SOCFIN oil palm company, that led to the death of two citizens and eighteen land rights activists including a sitting member of Parliament (Hon Sheika Sama) arrested. The present situation of the people in Sahn Malen chiefdom is precarious. The rights of the people to access food are totally denied and put in inimical circumstances. As of present NO OIL IN AND NO OIL OUT IN Sahn Malen. All the oil in the chiefdom is claimed by SOCFIN Oil Palm Company. The people’s rights to food are denied.

    However, am really afraid this investments deals with the Turkish SALA Group, will not end up like SOCFIN, claiming all the rice in their operational areas even though they meet the people doing subsistence farming in their own little way.
    Investment is about promoting the wellbeing of the people, through the creation of jobs and contribute to the GDP, hence thrive economic growth. But in the Sierra Leone situation, it takes a different paradigm.

    The investment is to enrich the status quo at the disadvantage of the poor citizens (A Case of Sahn Malen chiefdom). Government is just signing deals but do little to repeal land laws that will regulate the behaviours of individuals and investors at the advantage of everyone.

  4. Why is the government of Sierra Leone allowing this investment to take foothold on the continent? Your acceptance of this deal will serve the beginning of turning Africa into farming grounds for the West.

  5. The skepticism expressed by my friend BRAHIM and Jane kargbo are not unfounded,but must be looked at, examined and taken very seriously. The Captain of a sinking ship,will do,and say almost anything to keep passengers on board very calm,and from freaking out.(lol).Its clear,this government is using all the tricks,and tactics in the book to keep the hopes of starving,desperate millions alive.

    But is it right though – to tell the sick,hungry,and mentally depressed that help is on the way when actually it isn’t? 20,000 jobs huh? (lmao). Rice farming is labor intensive – that means its a back breaking job demanding unwavering commitment, and long strenuous hours; Is it possible that the Sierra Leone military are the ones going to fill those positions requiring unshaken discipline and work ethics? (lol)

    Even in China the world’s highest producers of rice,its not easy to find farms employing 20,000 hands at one time.(lmao) 20,000 hands? – you’ve got to be kidding me! I say lets wait and see – the lifespans of lies,deceits,and treachery are always very brief – time will reveal the truth behind all things. So Captain, our captain remember that promoting lies,will only stain,and tarnish your name in vain,while millions languish in hunger,poverty,and in pain…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  6. This is a great move the government of Sierra Leone has taken. As a young boy in the Early 80s my aunt used to buy bags of rice to take to Liberia. Its unfortunate that many Sierra Leoneans do not seem to understand the intention of the President. H.E. Maada Bio. Sierra Leoneans have adopted a kind of lifestyle that is not easy to understand. People no longer believe in the saying. “Na mi sweat”.. Its sad. Many have thought such attitude may have its foundation from the Ten Years Civil war… But come to think of it, where is Rwanda today, and many other countries that suffered similar situation? They are far ahead of us.

    I hear people sometimes when walking around town… ” Le wi Pray for salone” my brothers and sisters, we have have prayed and God has answered our prayers by given us a President who has the country at heart. All we need to do is to co-operate. We have prayed. We just need to put into practice now the advice God has given to us..

  7. 20000 jobs! To do what. 20000 is more than the total strength of the Sierra Leone Police and the military combined. I know that politicians and investors try to put out statements to lure the populace, but economically, 20000 jobs in a rice farm is not feasible even if it is the entire job is going to be manual which I don’t think is going to be in this case.

    Having said that, it is a good venture no matter what the conditions are. Our rice lands in Tomabum, Rokopri and Teko have been laying Fallow. Shame on our rich people that Turkey, a none rice eating country would invest in our fallow rice land while those who have stolen so much are having thier millions in oversea banks.

  8. Great thing is about to begin, may it be successful. Food sufficiency is the most important thing the people are crying for everyday. Pray!

  9. Good news for all of us. God bless the government of Sierra Leone with wisdom and favour. Thank God for the Turkish investors: we are proud of you.

  10. I think this is a good step taken by the president and his administration. My question is when will it start benefiting the people of Sierra Leone?

  11. I believe in this president and I know he is going to bring great things for our people in Sierra Leone, even though, sometimes people are saying he is not doing enough or anything for his people. I think we people of Sierra Leone, need to give him some time and some credit on things he has done so far and wait for him to do more and fix everything.

  12. This is a good deal for the people of Sierra Leone,but until I am able to see the details of this agreement, I will show some caution. 20,000 jobs can help ease poverty and unemployment in our country. I hope things start happening as quickly as possible.

  13. All I can say is this. The Bio Administration is riding HIGH and in CONTROL. Is the Bio Administration becoming a LIMITED EDITION? Absolutely yes! Talking to myself. Be quick to enter the Bio ADMINISTRATION and ELECTION CAMPAIGN WAGON before it’s too late. Mind you; it’s LIMITED EDITION. Is President Bio trying to prove his opponents and people like myself who were always doubtful of his INVESTMENT and DEVELOPMENT agenda wrong?

    President Bio has started delivering on his promises. His administration started negotiating with the Turks sometime last year after I signaled the importance of investing in Torma Bum. They just continue listening to me. GOOD for the ADMINISTRATION. I hope the President also deliver on DEVOLUTION. If the President continues with such development projects where jobs are being created in the years left before 2023, then, the opposition have to find a TACTICAL STRATEGY to WIN. Otherwise, we will see BIO PART TWO after 2023. GOD BLESS President Bio deliver on his promises. AMEN AND AMEN.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.