Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance, Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura has revealed President Julius Maada Bio’s agricultural development vision to the African Development Bank (AfDB) mission in the country.

As part of the follow-up mechanism on the Dakar 2 Summit held early this year in darker Senegal, two directors from the agriculture department of the African Development Bank (AfDB) are leading a mission in Freetown on a three-day working visit to engage the Government of Sierra Leone on the validation process of the government priority and financial commitments, hold a roundtable meeting with development partners and private sector players in the agriculture value chain.

Speaking in a courtesy meeting with the Minister of Finance at his George Street office, Director Martin Fregene highlighted the need for the government to have a clear implementation plan for the agriculture compact, coordinate development partner’s interventions and promote private sector involvement.

Minister of Finance, Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura, in his response, thanked the mission for their visit. He reiterates the commitment of the President and Government to the compact implementation, focusing on rice, cassava and livestock.

He spoke about a blueprint for agriculture that will consolidate the interventions of all players in the sector to ensure Sierra Leone is food sufficient.

Minister Bangura updated his guests on the policy and structural reforms the government is undertaking to de-risk the sector, thereby opening up the space for private sector investments. He further stated that the government intends to consolidate gains made in Education and Health and put agriculture at the centre of all development projects like roads, energy and infrastructure.

The other director, Atsuko Toda, stated that the government should fast-track the setting up of the Presidential Council to monitor the Compact implementation.

Financial Secretary Sahr Lahai Jusu also reiterates the need to consolidate development partners’ interventions to create the desired impact.