The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) has embarked on a nationwide aftercare visit with the support of the Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP). The first phase of the aftercare visit started on the 16th – 19th April 2021 with key agribusiness companies operating in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. Aftercare visits to existing investors/exporters in the country is one of SLIEPA’s strategies to handle investor and exporter related issues and a means of providing dedicated post establishment services.
Nguala Agribusiness Development Company (NADEC) with its operational site at Moyamba Junction in the Fakunya chiefdom, is one of the beneficiaries of the SCADeP’s grant for smallholder farmers was delighted at the SLIEPA team’s visit. Nguala’s farm Manager, Mr. Amadu Jalloh led the SLIEPA team on a conducted tour of the facilities constructed with the support of the SCADeP funds which includes a warehouse, drying floor and a rice processing room. “The support has enabled us to increase our support to our out-grower farmers cultivating rice, maize and sorghum” stated Mr. Jalloh.
Mr. Bockari Samba, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sierra Greenfields at Senehun rice field in the Kamajei Chiefdom, Moyamba District gave a status update on the operations of the company and took the SLIEPA team on a conducted tour of the newly constructed Warehouse within the confines of the rice field to address the perennial problem of storage and minimizing post-harvest losses. Mr. Samba expressed delight at SLIEPA’s visit and said it always serves as a source of motivation for him. The rice field has already been prepared for the next planting season starting in May and he is very optimistic of a better yield this year.
At Tormabum, Bum chiefdom in the Bonthe District, Mr. Metzeger, the community Liaison Officer of West Africa Rice Company (WARC), stated that the company was established in Torma Bum, South of Sierra Leone in 2012; noting that they are primarily cultivating and processing rice, but they as well plant maize, sorghum, and beans. On a conducted tour of the rice field the new variety of rice with high yields was shown to the SLIEPA team and the irrigation system done to support the rice field.
The SLIEPA team also visited Socfin Agricultural Company (SAC) at Sahn, Malen Chiefdom in Pujehun District. Mr. Abu Amara, the company’s Human Resource Manager, said the company currently has 1,550 permanent staff and about 2000 indirect staff engaged on seasonal basis. He explained that the company’s mill processes 60,000 metric tons of crude palm oil per hour when at full capacity. The Human Resource Manager also appealed to SLIEPA to help in addressing the company’s main challenge now which is fruit theft.
The Team Lead of SLIEPA, the Acting Director of Investment Promotion, Mr. Victor Bangura, reiterated and assured all the companies visited of SLIEPA’s commitment in providing a robust and professional aftercare services and to convey the challenges facing the companies to the relevant authorities for appropriate action. He also appealed to the companies to maintain a good working relationship with SLIEPA and a cordial relationship with their host communities. Other members of the SLIEPA team included Mr. Francis Minah, Mr. Henry Fofanah and Ms. Abigail John.