Native Consortium & Research Centre, together with the Ministry of Environment, has on 5th October, 2020, launched the planting and maintenance of 8,000 commercial tree seedlings in Bakeh Loko Chiefdom, Port Loko District, North-Western part of Sierra Leone, with the theme 'Job creation through Agriculture and Environmental Protection'.
Director of Native Consortium, Edmond Abu, said the fight against hunger could only be won if 'we grow what we eat'.
He observed that during and after the civil war, Sierra Leonean famers were putting more strength in planting rice and forgot about tree crops that are very important in communities, thus urging the minimisation of cutting down of trees as it would bring problem in their localities.
He added that the project is community owned and that they would partner with land owners and encourage them to plant other crops (inter-cropping),which, he said would be beneficial to the community.
Charles A. Bangura, Portloko District Director of Agriculture, emphasised that agriculture is the back bone of the development of any country, but noted that it entirely dependent on the types of farming.
He noted that commercial farming is a novelty in the country, but with the recent efforts of government and other development partners, Sierra Leone would soon make its mark in agriculture.
He said the project is a blessing to their district as it would not only cover tree cropping, but also the food sector.
He admonished people to stop cutting down trees for charcoal burning and timber logging as it would have a negative impact on the community.
He stressed that the community would benefit as there would be an inter-cropping for the famers.
He called on youth to support the project as it would bring a very good impact to unborn generation.
Marlapy M. A. Tarawally, Chiefdom Speaker, assured Native Consortium and partners that famers would embrace the project with open hands as there would be a lot of benefit to them and their unborn generation.
He called on everyone to serve as security for the plantation.
Osman I. Bangura, who spoke on behalf of the youth, called on his colleagues to apply all seriousness to the implementation of the project, noting that blatant deforestation would soon be replenished.