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Sierra Leone: Former Agriculture Minister’s farewell message

15 May 2018 at 15:11 | 2068 views

Dear All,

End of tenure letter

It is with a great sense of fulfillment that I write to inform you that my tenure as Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security of Sierra Leone has come to an end.

Starting out first as Special Adviser to the President and Ambassador-At-Large and finally as Minister, I have learnt over the last four years and three months that no one has an excuse not to do well whatever the position of leadership in public service. At times it was tough but many times it was exciting especially going to the rice fields of Rukupr where I started my career as a breeder and other areas across the country, meeting farmers and seeing their hope and tenacity. Years later, I am still learning the ropes and hoping that the impact of the actions and decisions I took as Minister, will be far reaching and significant in the coming years. Initiatives like the new fertilizer distribution model, direct cash transfer to farmers, Just in time’ agribusiness innovative platform as well as projects like SCADEP, SCP-GAFSP, SLeCAD, ARFP, LFM, NPAA, BAFSP etc. could go a long way if well nurtured and supported further. Some of them need to be fine tuned and this may require substantial financial and technical support from our donors and development partners.

I would like to commend our development partners who were more than supportive of the Ministry, particularly the donors and the organizations that provided direct support to the Ministry like World Bank, EU, USAID, DFID, China AID, IDB, AfDB, IFAD, FAO, GIZ, etc.

I thank the staff of the Ministry, the Executive Management Committee, the Directors, the Presidency and government of H.E Ernest Bai Koroma for the opportunity given to me to serve my country. Though I am leaving this position, I am still very much a scientist and an agriculture person and will continue to lend my expertise to the Country and people when the need arises.

I congratulate the Honorable Minister of Agriculture Mr. Joseph Ndanema who I believe is an excellent choice and enjoin him to always put our farmers at the center of agriculture initiatives and service delivery. I believe that if we are able to increase farmers income and livelihoods we will be able to meet our poverty reduction targets. The Farmer’s Federation and Women’s Forum should be encouraged and supported.

I congratulate H.E Retired Brigadier Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the man of the moment. It is my hope that agriculture will continue to be at the front burner of your development policy agenda and that initiatives that have done well can be built upon. I appeal that the budgetary allocation to agriculture be increased to meet the African Union recommendation of at least ten per cent in order to make meaningful strides in production and productivity that will lead to viable and sustainable economic growth for the country.

I thank our farmers and the people of Sierra Leone. It was my greatest honor to serve you. Thank you all for helping me grow these important 4 years of my life, making it memorable, and being my trusted allies, mentors, partners and friends. I know that without your help and support, I would not have gone very far.

God bless you all. Long live Mama Salone.

Best regards,

Prof. Monty P. Jones
Regimanuel Estate
Godwich, Freetown
Sierra Leone.

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