With support from the United States Embassy, Healey International Relief Foundation in collaboration with Caritas and Njala University has organized a five-day sustainable agricultural and business development symposium for over fifty (50) women in Agricultural Activities in Bo District.
Addressing all present at the School of Community Health Sciences auditorium paramedical campus Bo Kenema Highway in Bo, the in-country Manager of Healeuy Foundation,Ishmael Alfred Charles said women in agriculture were purposely targeted to increase their yield in terms of agricultural production for the betterment of their livelihood.
Me Charles maintained that the importance of the symposium would help improve the market base of women that constitute 52% of the country’s population into an available productive enterprise.
Ishmael Charles encouraged women, and farmers, to learn how to broaden their knowledge in agricultural activities stressing that as they often use to burn the bushes, they are damaging the soil and the environment in general.
The in-country Manager described the symposium as an experience-sharing engagement whereas farmers from the United States and Sierra Leone were trained on how to manage large scale production.
On his part, the Head of the Department of Animal Health Sciences at Njala University who also doubles as the consultant for the training Professor Roland Soluku maintained that land use for agricultural activities is sometimes not properly managed by the farmers and other land users noting burning the soil is not good for the environment, especially for crop production.
He said the such practice has made farmers reap less during harvest time due to the lack of nutritious values in the soil.
He advised participants of the symposium to stop burning charcoal and causing deforestation as it will have negative impacts on the productivity of agricultural initiatives. Professor Soluku further disclosed that the growing of crops in Sierra Leone is not the situation affecting farmers, but the market which is not available to farmers.
A participant from Valuania Chiefdom Bo District Marie Macathy described the training as very educative and timely.
She said as a rice and vegetable farmer, she had learnt the causes land damages and how improve its usage.
The symposium ended with the distribution of certificates to participants including Andrea BLU Phones and solar lights.