The SLPMC Story
Sierra Leone had a viable operating Produce Marketing Board but the Structural Adjustment Programme, with vogue of trade liberalisation the Government embarked on, saw the demise of a once viable Company. The collapse of this company left a void in the agricultural sector that had never been efficiently filled .Within the ensuing framework, the cash crop production business, once a profitable and enviable business became a source of mockery for most producers and a disincentive to quality produce. The quality problem has damaged the image of Sierra Leone’s cash crop exports to such an extent that the agricultural export earnings have trickled to a pittance, with mineral export earnings still the mainstay of the economy.
Since mineral export earnings hardly enter our financial system in the proper manner its impact on the people of Sierra Leone is very hard to discern which dictates in this economy a change of faith from mining to agriculture. The 2009 budget is the first budget that had made an indicative allocation to Agriculture in excess of seven percent. This is hope enough that the government intends giving agriculture some attention along side the new drive for partnership with the Private sector.
The above is indicative of a new wave of opportunity for a Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company that has a motive of creating enabling avenues for cash crop farmers, input suppliers and agricultural entrepreneurs by serving as a conduit for financial intermediation within the agricultural sector. The SLPMC is envisaged as an agricultural power house that will contribute to the development of agricultural enterprises to generate rural wealth while cushioning Government’s strides to increase export earnings.
Based on the present economic environment this company wishes to operate in, there is need for a direct link between producers, input suppliers, agricultural entrepreneurs and, agricultural promotion Ministries/Agencies and the Company. While government seeks an improved agricultural sector, the ultimate goal is improved well being of the citizenry, wherein the SLPMC seeks profit maximisation; it would like to attain sustainable supply of cash crops, through the intervention of various intermediaries (input suppliers, financial institutions, MDAs and the Producers. SLPMC will succeed better wherein they are in constant touch with the research Institutions for both advanced methods and techniques of production and innovations in the cash crop sector.