By Tamba Steven Komba
In an effort to ensure Sierra Leone attains food self-sufficiency, players of the Amputee Flying Eagles have cultivated over 27 acres of land with different varieties of crops at Maforay village in the Port Loko District. The cultivation according to the players was been met with a lot of challenges such as lack of tools, machinery and inadequate financing among other challenges.
Rice, Groundnut, cassava and over two thousand cashew nut trees are among the many crops on the 27 acre of land cultivated by the amputee players.
The team ‘Flying Eagles’ is a legacy of the civil war that terrorized the country of six million people for 10 years, but mercifully ended in 2002. Each of the players has his own horror story of war and how he lost a limb. The players say, it is their common understanding that for a country to progress the gross domestic product should be reasonable. Agriculture they said is one of the important paths. They added that, amputees have over the years known in Sierra Leone as street baggers, which is why they have decided to embarked on large scale farming. ‘We want to discourage our colleague amputees and the disable community as a whole to stop being on the street begging,’ the players said. They added that, agriculture is a very lucrative business, though challenging.
Appreciating the efforts of the players, the president of the Sierra Leone Amputee and War Wounded Association, Mohamed Tarawallie said it is hard to believe that such a massive piece of land can be cultivated by single leg people. He noted that amputees have been viewed as people moving from one point to another in big cities begging for their living but that he said is becoming a thing of the past. He however, pleaded with government and well-meaning sierra Leoneans to support them with machines and in the construction of their warehouse as the 27-acre rice farm will soon be ready for cultivation.