SCADeP SUPPORTS SLIEPA TO ORGANISE AGRIBUSINESS ROUNDTABLE FORUM FOR INVESTORS AND EXPORTERS
12 Apr 2023
The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA), has rolled out an Agribusiness Round Table Forum (public-private dialogue) for investors and exporters in the South, East, North, and North-West of Sierra Leone. The events were held on the 5th and 6th of April 2023 in Makeni and Bo respectively.
According to SLIEPA, the Roundtable dialogue that was supported by the Smallholder Commercialization and Agribusiness Development Project (SCADeP), was aimed at improving Sierra Leone’s business environment by seeking advice on potential policy changes, enhancing the standard of corporate representation, enhancing communication between government and the business sector for more successful economic policies, improving legislative ideas, influencing policy priorities and taking input into account when creating regulations, looking for ways to use Public -Private Partnership to address identified needs and determining the funding needs and skill shortages.
Mr. Ben Kargbo, the value chain project officer of SCADeP, applauded SLIEPA for a continued good working relationship with them, especially for rolling out their activities to the beneficiaries over the years. He said that the objective of bringing together the public and private sectors to dialogue was to merge ideas that would improve the country’s business landscape to encourage more foreign and domestic investments. He encouraged the participants to share ideas and take the engagements further with other stakeholders.
In his statement, Mr. Andrew Mansaray, the District Agric Officer for Makeni, called on all the participants to make use of the interaction session to gain ideas that will improve their various businesses whilst he applauded SLIEPA for the implementation of the project, which he said was timely.
Mr. Francis Sam Gbeinga, the Regional Head of SCADeP, Southern Province, appealed to the participants to pay keen attention to the presentation of the Banks to understand how to access bank loans and other facilities as explained during the round table discussion. He thanked SLIEPA for bringing onboard the institutions to present their products and services to the participants.
Presentations were made by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA), and Financial Institutions (Rokel Commercial Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, and Sierra Leone Commercial Bank) on financial management, and access to loan facilities for exporters and investors. They outlined the processes involved in acquiring loans from banks and various collaterals needed by the banks, especially for agricultural development projects.
Among other things, the participants across the board were more concerned about the continuity of the SCADeP project and appealed to the Government of Sierra Leone to extend the life span of the project if possible as it has been one of the most successful and supportive agricultural projects in the entire country. The access to loans and the high-interest rate of the commercial Banks, policies or laws that will attract hybrid and yielding seeds, well-functional irrigation to cultivate throughout the year, adequate farming machines, processing, packaging, branding, and Marketing. They applauded SLIEPA for their continual support and also appealed to SMEDA to continue with the MUNAFA Fund program and make it accessible to farmers.
© SLIEPA: Directorate of Marketing and Communications.