By: Mohamed Sahr  mohamedsahrpro@gmail.com

A well-experienced and respected medical woman in Sierra Leone, who has developed a unique passion in agriculture, is embarking on a large-scale farming project in Kenema district with buoyant yields.

 Haja Mary Sandy’s motivation for the project stems from a desire to boost the agricultural sector in Sierra Leone and to create job opportunities for the local population. Her dream is rooted from President Bio’s mainstay agenda which is “Feed Salone.”

Being a compassionate and supportive nurse born in the 70s,  Haja Mary Betty Sandy enrolled into the field of nursing in her 20s. She later advanced to the general nursing and completed midwifery mentorship. This demonstrates that she is an all-rounded, well-suited and well-known nurse not only in Kenema district but also across the country.

At this moment, Haja Mary Betty Sandy has risen to the occasion with over 30 acres of farmland in Kenema District, turning subsistence farming into large-scale mechanized farming. She is a fervent believer of hence ensuring she contributes immensely to President Bio’s chief agenda (Feed Salone)

Haja Mary Sandy had this to say “During my formative years, I was raised by my parents of blessed memory who were both farmers, I hated farming, all I wanted was to become a nurse and help the sick recover in my little way”.

Today, the trailblazer in farming within Kenema district is the brain behind one of the largest Farm produce in the district which is the Amuloma Rice, Cassava and Vegetables Production Farmers Federation. Her organization grows varieties of farm produce as well enhances job opportunities. Since the pronouncement of President Bio’s “Feed Salone” flagship program, Mrs. Haja Mary Betty Sandy has demonstrated unwavering commitment towards the success of food self-sufficiency in Sierra Leone by establishing over 30  acres of rice farms in the kenema district.

 Recalling her formative days, when she had to spend most of the time on her parents’ farm, ploughing the fields with her parents, farming was the least she could think of after she retired as a nurse. It is safe to say that it has been a usual journey for the 65-year-old retired nurse who has now engaged in large-scale rice farming and entrepreneurship.

Agriculture accounts for almost half of Sierra Leone’s Gross Domestic Products.

60% of the nation’s population works in the agricultural sector and the majority of them are women.

“This country has 396 Agricultural Business Centres, but none has positively impacted real farmers like us. If only large-scale agricultural activities were priorities by the previous government, we would not be depending on imported rice, being the nation’s stable food,” Haja Mary Sandy mentioned.

She extended thanks and appreciation to President Bio for his firm pronouncement of agriculture, as his driving program. This shows that as a nation,  growing rice and many other products without depending on sister nations foster economic growth.

As part of the President’s plans to boost the agricultural sector and diversify the economy, President Julius Maada Bio has encouraged citizens to embark on farming, stating that, agricultural activities transform a nation into a self-sufficient nation.

Haja Mary Betty Sandy stated that their aim as farmers is not to score any political point, rather than to embark on large-scale farming to help the Government of Sierra Leone to achieve its mission, under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.

Haja Mary Betty Sandy therefore calls on fellow Sierra Leonean women at home and abroad to move from their comfort zones and embark fully on agricultural activities. She strongly believes that women’s empowerment can best be realized through engagement in agriculture; adding that women are focal players in the economic development

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