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Sierra Leone News: Farmer’s attitudes affect our ABC operation – Ardu Momoh

One of the senior Committee members and also the caretaker of the two Agricultural Business Centers (ABC’s) in Luawa Baoma, Kailahun District, Ardu Momoh, has disclosed that farmer’s attitudes towards high price demand is affecting their operations.
Kailahun is well known for its large agricultural productivity of cacao, rice, plantain, cash crops and fruits, because of its beautiful soil and location.
According to the caretaker, Ardu Momoh, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture, established ABC’s across the country as a way of providing storage and marketplaces for farmers who cannot transport their produce to their various provincial headquarters.
“We have two ABC’s in Luawa Boama. One is for rice mill and the other for cacao and other products,” said Ardu Momoh. He explained that Luawa Baoma is about seven miles from Kailahun.
He disclosed that since the establishment of the ABC’s in their section, farmers are reluctant to take their produce there for sales as they in most cases invite business people to come directly from them instead of selling to the ABC’s because of higher prices paid by the business people.
The caretaker explained that this negatively affects their operation as the money received from both the rice mill and cacao ABC’s is used for the development of the villages around the section.
“But with the limited amount received, we are unable to provide support to all these villages. We have supported the construction of a court barray and community water-well project in two communities and presently we are thinking about supporting other communities. But the farmers are not cooperating with us” he says.
He furthered that they usually rent the ABC’s to big agricultural organizations for operations for a specific time and the money they deposit into their community bank account for safe keeping with the senior members in the community as signatory.
Speaking to some farmers around the community, they expressed dissatisfaction over the operations of the ABC’s in the section. They stated that the prices paid for their produce are extremely low and that they cannot do anything serious or beneficial with it.
They admitted selling their produce to individual business people who pay higher prices compared to what is given to them by the ABC’s operator.
According to the Chairlady of the Farmers Association, they are cooperating with the ABC’s because they are aware of the fact that the money received by the ABC’s operation are used for community development projects, but however urge for the prices pays for their produce by increase a bit.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Friday February 10, 2017

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