Sierra Leone: Agriculture Ministry Supports Women Farmers

In a bid to increase agricultural productivity, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Prof. Monty Jones, has disbursed a cheque valued Le25 million each to Sierra Leone Women Farmers Forum (SLEWOFF) in Moyamba district and Eyeina Heina Agricultural Business Centre in Sogbeni Chiefdom, Bonthe District.

The minister pledged his commitment to providing support to Agricultural Business Centres, adding that 35, 000 bags of fertilisers have been supplied to farmers this year for the first application.

He disclosed that the process of supplying 250, 000 bags of fertilisers to the ministry was yet to be concluded, stating that farmers were in need of 265, 000 fifty kilogram bags of fertilisers.

He said his ministry relied on data base of previous suppliers and sourced three companies to supply the 250, 000 bags for the second and third applications, as well for the next planting season.

"Due to urgency, we decided not to go for competitive bidding but rather went through our data base to identify those that have been supplying good fertilisers to the country. We asked them to bid for the supply of 250,000 bags, 100, 000 for this year's second and third applications and 150, 000 bags for next year," disclosed an agriculture ministry official.

Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Abu Bakarr Sidique Daramy, said five companies sent bids for each of the three types of fertilisers, adding that the bidders went through the normal bidding process, spearheaded by a Procurement Committee, and with the approval of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA).

Source: Concord Times

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