Sierra Leone's agriculture, potentially a huge engine of economic growth, is performing well below par. It contributes a mere 30 per cent of GDP and 35 per cent of the nation's staple, rice. The list of potential products is long, with rice, palm oil, palm kernel oil, fruit and vegetable cultivation and processing (e.g. mangoes, cucumbers, chilies, ginger, etc), are at the top end.
Inhibiting commercial agriculture outside the Freetown Peninsula is the land tenure system. Cocooned in their illiberal doctrines, commercial banks have been particularly unhelpful in this regard. They view provincial land as providing insufficient security for their money; therefore investment in commercial agriculture is uncommon. This has caused the industry to lag behind and inhibit its growth.
However, ingenuous ways can be devised to overcome the hurdle. Presently, AFCAN Holdings is poised to acquire large tracts of Provincial lands both far and near the capital of Freetown. These lands can be exploited on long term basis, involving also the direct participation with land owner/out grower farmers. Envisaged is a system that achieves utilization on a commercial scale, profit at a substantial level for investors and land owners alike and rural poverty alleviation on a significant scale.With these objectives in focus, AFCAN Holdings sees the importance of developing business strategies with credible joint venture partners looking for investment in agricultural production and agro-business for both local and overseas markets.
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