His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma officially opened the Presidential Private Sector Investment Roundtable at Radisson Blu, Mammy Yoko Hotel in June this year, where Agriculture took precedence as it contributes more than 46% of the GDP in Sierra Leone. The forum is part of President’s efforts at keeping the private sector onboard the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity. Agriculture is a key component of the President’s Agenda for Properity as it hopes to improve the lives of poor Sierra Leoneans, 70% of whom depend on agriculture or agricultural based activities to etch out their living. Through the Smallholder Commercialization project, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security now fervidly gives priority to changing the lives of the more the than 70% of Sierra Leoneans who bank their survival on farming. The concept is that farming through streams of realistic investments move from its usual subsistence history in the country to the now popular commercial farming for the small holder farmers. Sierra Leone is already benefitting from chains of private sector investments like the ADDAX Bio Energy, Socfin, Magbass Sugar, Lion Africa Agriculture and many more because of the agricultural potential and the ever improving investment climate in the country. Agriculture is crucial to poverty alleviation and wealth creation. In Sierra Leone, agriculture accounts for more than70 % of total employment and remains the highest contributor to the GDP. Therefore agribusiness is strategically placed to drive future economic developments. Agribusiness creates important linkages and encourages investment in a way that can have strong multiplier effects on growth. Commercialization of smallholder farmers is also is key to fighting food insecurity, not only because it stimulates increased production but also due to its potential to create wealth for smallholders and rural communities. Developing a viable and vibrant agri-business sector in Sierra Leone as it presently happening under the agenda for prosperity is a development challenge, but it is also a significant market opportunity for companies and particularly small and family farmers who are the largest private investors in agriculture. There is a growing political consensus regarding the role of the private sector in revitalizing the agriculture sector and developing a vibrant agri food industry in the country. This is reflected in the commitment made by the government and their development partners to increase growth and investment in agriculture through initiatives like the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) where gracefully the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Joseph Sam Sesay are Champion President and Minister respectively.

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