Giving an overview of the project, the national chairman of the civil society coalition informed all that their coalition is in close partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture , Forestry and Food Security and had received supports from the Ministry to complement their efforts in achieving the President’s delivery priority on Agriculture through Advocacy, Education and independent monitoring of the supplies, inputs, equipment etc and their correct use by farmers and other beneficiaries at community levels. Mr. Charles Mambu went on to say that the conference aims at building the capacity of civil society women, youths and the media from all districts across the country on the Presidential Delivery Priority on Agriculture. He added that their primary objective is to build a strong civil society network around Agriculture with the view of independently complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security by ensuring that all supplies from the Ministry reach the right beneficiaries. Mr. concluded by saying that our farmers invest so much in farming but gain very little in the their products. A situation he described as unfortunate.
Delivering he key note address, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security expressed their satisfaction in working with the coalition of civil societies as they are very much important in the agricultural sector. Professor Monty Joans added that Agriculture can’t grow in this country without the support of the civil societies as they are the ones that work directly with farmers. He furthered that civil societies are part of his ministry and that is even why they are always factored in the budget of his ministry. He stressed that the conference is very much important will make civil societies and others present to get a clear understanding of the Presidential Delivery Priority on Agriculture. The Minister however encouraged all to put more efforts in agriculture so that we can stop or minimize the importation of agricultural products that we are capable of producing. “The Ministry is doing its best to stop or drastically minimize the importation of rice which is our staple food” he added. He ended by saying that it is the responsibility of his Ministry to provide staple food for every Sierra Leonean but it is not the Ministry’s responsibility to import staple food for anyone.