The photograph shows Marcus Akabi-Davis (right), Dr. Monty Jones, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food Security (third from the left, front row), Peter McAlpine, Marketing Manager of Artemis & Angel Co. Ltd. (back row, right) after a meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food Security in Freetown, Sierra Leone, about the US$100 million Bio-fertiliser Credit Fund.
Purpose of the Proposal
- The purpose of the Credit Fund, which we are offering the government of Sierra Leone, is to provide two advanced bio-technology, 100% organic, liquid, microbial bio-fertilizers (Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant) on very generous credit terms to enable Sierra Leone to phase out chemical farming completely; to replace it with 100% organic farming; to free up resources, which will assist the social and economic development of farming communities; and to help Sierra Leone to achieve its Agenda for Prosperity goals relating to nutrition, health, environmental protection, poverty alleviation, self-sufficiency, and food security. The Credit Fund will enable farmers to replace harmful chemical fertilizers and sprays with 100% organic bio-fertilizers and ensure that all farmers can obtain bio-fertilizers for their crops on credit with no price increase over 5 years. Their efficacy has already been demonstrated in Sierra Leone (MAFFS tests in 2015) as well as in other countries in Africa, i.e. Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, and Nigeria.
Investing in Sierra Leone
- In addition to offering the generous credit terms in section 3 below we will invest some of the proceeds from the sale back into Sierra Leone, for example, in the following activities:
- Train young people how to make a good living from 100% organic farming. This will enable them many people to leave Freetown and to return to the rural areas where unused land can be developed for the benefit of the country’s economy in various ways.
- Conduct workshops in each region for agriculture extension workers so that they can train farmers in 100% organic farming using the bio-fertilizers. This will increase their crop yields, crop immunity to disease, and crop quality; increase their standard of living and alleviate rural poverty; improve the health of the population and people’s feelings of well-being; and free Sierra Leone from the harmful social, health, economic, and environmental effects of chemical agriculture. With planning Sierra Leone could become Africa’s first 100% organic agriculture country.
- Provide mini-loans to farming communities so that they can obtain the equipment needed to reduce post-harvest food loss, and to process harvested crops so that they can get a higher price.
- Provide funding for the establishment of 100% organic crops for which there is already a demand internationally.
- Provide funding to help villages to open up new land for 100% organic farming.
- Provide funding for infrastructure projects, such as repairing roads so that harvested crops can reach markets before being spoiled; water supply and water storage; etc.
- Fund and train up manpower in order to implement education projects, which focus on the education of children, youth, and women; on developing people’s self-belief and self-confidence; and on village unity.
The Main Benefits
The bio-fertilizers will enable the government of Sierra Leone:
- To make Sierra Leone Africa’s first 100% organic farming country.
- To free up funds, which the government would have spent on subsidizing fertilizer, for infrastructure projects, rice mills, food processing factories, farming community development, opening up new land to agriculture, etc.
- To eradicate chemical fertilizers and sprays. Chemical farmers accept bio-chemical farming easily with these bio-fertilizers. The momentum towards country-wide, 100% organic farming can therefore be increased.
- To increase food production significantly beyond what chemical agriculture can achieve, and for a much lower cost. These bio-fertilizers can ensure the country’s food security. Chemical agriculture cannot because of its harmful effects on the soil and environment. The bio-fertilizers are effective with all crops and trees, including Sierra Leone’s main crops – maize, rice, millet, sorghum, nuts, fruit, yams, cassava, cocoa, coffee, rubber, etc.
- To reduce food production costs. In bio-chemical farming, for example, costs drop by about 40%. In 100% organic farming the cost savings compared to chemicals are much higher.
- To restore and improve the soil’s fertility. The soil can be cleaned of chemicals while hard, chemical soil and poor soil can be changed to a crumbly, fertile state rich in micro-organisms and beneficial insect life.
- To increase the quality of crops, e.g. fruit and vegetables become sweeter, crispier, and keep longer; grains have an improved taste; flowers are larger, fresher-looking, keep longer, and have a stronger scent; etc. A longer shelf life means that crops will not be spoiled before they reach the market at home or abroad.
- To ensure that the country’s food exports will not be rejected because of chemical content. The European Union and Japan, for example, are becoming stricter about Maximum Residue Levels.
- Sierra Leone can become known for exporting 100% organic food, fruit, cocoa, latex, etc. This will increase exports and provide more money for the farmers and the economy.
- To develop commercial agriculture, particularly in a 100% organic direction.
- To reduce poverty as farmers will earn more from higher crop yields and quality. Also, because there will be no increase in price over the 5 years the farmers will become wealthier.
- To protect water sources from chemical agriculture contamination.