When Sierra Leone politicians are in opposition, they have all the skills and knowledge to solve the problems existing in a country.
These politicians would come down heavily on the governing ruling party, identifying lapses in the government, and in most cases, these oppositions parties would decorate their manifestos with pleasant solutions to the country’s problem.
Before the 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2018, the SLPP politicians were busy castigating and criticising the APC government by then for not doing much in the area of food production and food security.
In that light, the main opposition SLPP said the following in their manifesto; The problems hampering the drive towards increased food production and food security are not adequately addressed by the APC government.
From reading this section of the SLPP Manifesto, I am tempted to ask, why didn’t the Paopa SLPP government able to adequately address the problems hampering the drive towards increased food production and food security for almost five years now?
Why were the SLPP government’s fantastic policies unable to produce effective outcome in food production in the country as we are still importing rice in large volume from India and other countries?
The 2018 SLPP Manifesto further criticised the then APC government by saying as follows; although the APC claimed to have imported 300 tractors, we continue to import rice.
The tractorisation programme has failed because of the imbalance in the distribution of the tractors and the non-payment for them.
Not more than 40% of the money invested in them has been recovered.
Most of the Agricultural Business Centres (ABCs) are mere white elephants.
With the coming of the SLPP to power in 2018 which saw the implementation of the promises made in their manifesto, did the SLPP government’s importation of tractors and distribution of these tractors stop or minimise the importation of rice in sierra Leone?
Which positive impacts have the imported tractors and distributed across the country made in the agriculture sector, and also which impacts have those tractors created in the lives of framers and the people of Sierra Leone?
The SLPP opposition in 2018 after highlighting the failures of the APC government in 2018 made the following promises.
In the New Direction, the overall goal of our agricultural policy is sustainable and diversified production of food, including crops and animals, on a scale sufficient enough to feed the growing population as well as providing gainful employment.
Priority actions will focus on (I) increasing investment in agriculture (ii) increasing food crop production (iii) increasing cash crop production (iv) increasing livestock production (v) improving irrigation water management (vi) improving land management and (vii) improving governance and research.
To which extent did the SLPP government’s policies achieve the promises contained in 2018 manifesto in addressing the Food production and food security in the country?
Are Sierra Leoneans better off under the SLPP government in relation to the implementation of your policies on agriculture?
Despite all the huge promises made by the SLPP to improve food production and food security in the country, yet the food security monitoring system analysis in August 2022 states that 81 percent of Sierra Leoneans households were unable to meet their basic food and nutrition needs.
Further, 15 percent of Sierra Leoneans were severely food insecure and needed emergency food assistance.
With all our politicians’ bravado and empty pomposity about Sierra Leone being a sovereign state, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided the sum of $3.2 million for emergency food and development assistance to 68,000 people in Sierra Leone where it is said that four out of five households have irregular access to safe and nutritious food.
Sadly, the Maada Bio’s Paopa government is incapable of feed its people despite the promises it made in it 2018 SLPP manifesto.
It is on this note, I say the days in opposition are different from the days in power or governance.
I rest my case.