In a bid to empower women farmers at national level, the Sierra Leone Women Farmers Forum with support from the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security has supported over one thousand women farmers with over two hundred million Leone to purchase tools, seedlings and also pay labourers.
The donation followed a nationwide training programme for the women farmers.
The women were drawn from the twelve districts in the country and the training looked at leadership skills, team building and effective food production and agro processing.
The Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Women Farmers Forum Mariama Turay said the training is geared towards empowering women farmers to support government’s food security drive.
The Director General Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute Dr. Joseph Kargbo talked about the role of women in Agriculture and how leadership skills would capacitate them. He called on the women to encourage their children to study agriculture, as it is viable to economic development. Dr. Kargbo pledged his support to the women, as a research institution.
In Makeni, Haja Lydia Sesay Director of Agriculture Western Area said women should be supportive so as to improve their output and livelihood.
In Kenema, the Mayor Kenema City Joseph Kelfallah said women make up the majority of the farming population for which they need to be capacitated with training in leadership, equipment and finance to improve on agricultural outputs
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture one Hon Marie Jalloh said the training should not only stop at district levels but be extended at chiefdom level, adding that several farmers groups have been established but could not be sustained. She noted that as the Agriculture sector is a top priority in the Agenda for Prosperity, the ministry has been actualizing this vision with the provision of tractors, power tillers and one hundred thousand metric tons of rice.