Sierra Leone: Njala University Signs U.S.191,900,000 Oil Palm Project

Njala University has on Thursday 28th May,2020 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (AVDP) to implement a USD 191,900,000 Oil Palm project at the University Secretariat, Njala Campus.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr Abdul Karim, members of the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Agriculture Value Chain Development Project (AVDP) and officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The Project Manager AVDP told members of the Njala University administration that the project is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and it is geared towards nursing around 540, 000 oil palm seedlings in the next three months for onward distribution to fifteen districts across the country.

He praised the capacity of School of Agriculture and Food Science of Njala University for successfully implementing IFAD funded projects in the past to the satisfaction of the funders and assured all that they would work together to implement the deliverables of the project.

In his presentation, the Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Osman Sankoh welcomed the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Project Management Unit of AVDP to Njala Campus.

He continued that he was overwhelmed for such a high-profile delegation led by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Agriculture having spared their busy schedules to facilitate the signing of such a significant project.

He added that it was a clear demonstration of the Ministry's commitment to increase the profile of Njala University and boost agriculture in the country.

He assured the AVDP Project Management Unit and the Deputy Minister that his staff at the School of Agriculture have all what it takes to implement the project.

On his part, the deputy minister of Agriculture, Dr Abdu Karim noted that the New Direction Government was not only keen in improving agriculture for farmers but it is also committed to building the capacity of key institutions like Njala University to enhance national agricultural promotion.

During his submission, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Njala Campus, Professor Bashiru Koroma thanked the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and the Project Management Unit of AVDP for reposing confidence in Njala University.

He encouraged the Ministry of Agriculture to trigger the framework agreement with Njala University that would enhance a close working relationship to promote research development and national agricultural promotion.

While giving the vote of thanks, Dr Alieu Bah, Head of Department, Crop Science, School of Agriculture and Food Science, praised the Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal for the support accorded to the School of Agriculture in actualizing the eventual signing of the MOU.

He underscored the point that the project would increase the profile of the University to once more provide jobs and enhance the capacity of women and youths in the surrounding communities.

He continued that Njala University would also benefit from tools and training for its students during the project implementation stage.

The occasion was climaxed by the signing of the MOU between the Deputy Minister of Agriculture on behalf of AVDP/IFAD and the Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Osman Sankoh on behalf of Njala University.

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