The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) on Friday 26th May 2017 facilitated a day’s forum at the Shangri La Entertainment Complex, Aberdeen Freetown. The forum attracted investors in the Agribusiness sector nationwide, Government officials in Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other private sector players operating in the Agribusiness sector.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Chairman Board of Directors SLIEPA expressed thanks to all the participants for attending the forum and said that the theme of the forum “Sustainable Agricultural Transformation “(Myths, Realities, and the way Forward) was deliberately chosen to reflect the realities in the sector and to help resolve some of the challenges in the sector.
The forum was chaired by Mr. Leslie Scott currently serving as the Coordinator in the President’s Delivery Team in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS). Mr. Scott appealed to all participants to use the forum as a platform to proffer suggestions to address some if not all the key challenges affecting increased productivity in the agricultural sector in the country. He stated that there the need for government to continue to improve the investment climate in the country and strengthened relationship between the Ministries of Agriculture, forestry, Food Security and Trade and Industry in order to better service the Investors and the sector at large.
Delivering the keynote address. Hon. Ibrahim Mansaray, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry representing the Minister of Trade and Industry said that government will continue to implement policies to enhance agricultural productivity in the country and address the agro-processing challenges in the industry. He also stated that the operationalisation of the Local Content Agency and the SME Development Agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the ratification of Regional and international Trade agreements such as ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) demonstrates Government’s commitment to enhance Trade.
Amongst the topics discussed were, Environmental Impact Assessment specific to Agribusiness, Land use and management and tenure right issues, working with local communities, import and export procedures, Agricultural financing, value addition and marketing.