His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio on Wednesday 17th October 2018 received in audience Mr David DeLorenzo Chairman of Dole Asia Holdings Pte.Ltd. at State House Freetown. Dole Asia Holdings PTE Ltd, is the parent company of Sierra Tropical Limited (STL) one of the many investments facilitated by SLIEPA in recent years.
Giving an overview of the operations of STL over the past four years Mr DeLorenzo stated that STL with financing from the parent company based in Japan – ITOCHU, has at the moment, with guidance from the Government of Sierra Leone, acquired 574 hectares of land from landowners/landowning families from the Lugbu chiefdom in the Bo district where the pineapple project will be located. This he said this will increase in the next three (3) years to a total of 4,335 hectares of land where the pineapple and other tropical fruits plantation, cannery and processing facilities will be established. He said the company has employed at least 450 indigenes of the area. This he further stressed will increase substantially to 1,000 – 1,500 by mid-2019 when the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Government of Sierra Leone and the company would have been signed.
President Bio expressed his support for the operations of the company in the country and asked them to live up to their corporate social responsibilities. In attendance at the meeting were Mr Sheku Lexmond Koroma CEO SLIEPA, Dr Abu Karim Presidential Adviser Trade and Investment, Mr Patrick Blake CEO/Senior Vice President and Country Manager STL, and Mr. Centus Macauley, the Company Secretary and Legal Representative STL