By Mary Kabay
The Chief Executive Officer of the Faith Healing Agricultural Project, who also doubles as General Overseer of Faith Healing Bible Church, Pastor Francis A.M. Mambu, has commissioned and dedicated a newly acquired combined harvester, on the 8th October 2021, at Yainkassa Village in the Makarie Chiefdom, Bombali District, about hundred kilometres North-East of Sierra Leone.
Addressing journalists and community residents of Makarie Chiefdom, Pastor Francis A. M. Mambu, stated that he does not see the need for the Government to be spending millions of Leones to import rice, underscoring how if only, we are serious as a nation, we are doubling agricultural productivity, then it is not difficult to become self-sufficient as far as food is concerned.
He disclosed that at the farm they keep increasing rice yields each year by raising farm productivity and boosting growth which culminated in harvesting close to one thousand hectares of rice this year with the aid of a newly acquired combined harvester.
According to him, the Faith Healing Agricultural Project Farm is one of Sierra Leone’s largest local farm projects located in Yainkassa village in the Makarie Chiefdom, Bombali District.
The farm, he continued, produces fresh farm eggs of over 100 cartoons weekly in its poultry and organic parboiled rice which is packaged in 25kg and 50kg bags. The Man of God lamented that they have been struggling to reach targeted rice yields highlighting how such could be difficult to attain because they are farming and harvesting manually leading to low productivity and delay in meeting the demands of the market.
Pastor Francis A.M. Mambu lamented that the project was unsuccessful in meeting its targeted 1,200-hectares rice yield this year owing to the challenge of having a combined harvester or tractor.
He added that over the years, the farm project, which started in 2008, using only hand tools, a practice that entails poor productivity, has been supporting over four-hundred and fifty local women comprising six (6) farmer-groups from six villages including Royeama, Maronko, Royanka, Woreh-Yeama, Yainkassa and Gbom-Samba, “beyond seedlings and tools”.
Pastor Mambu said he is poised to fully take the pulpit to the farm by extending the project to all districts across the country with the aim of attaining food sufficiency. He said this year in Bonthe district two hundred and forty-six (246) acres of rice farm has already been harvested and stored in the grain store in addition to fifteen (15) acres of cassava and five (5) acres of corn. He said in Tonkolili district they are set to harvest eighteen (18) acres of rice; in Moyamba district sixteen (16) acres of rice; Kailahun district two (2) acres of cocoa & cocoa yam; and groundnuts in Port Loko district.
“This venture requires maximum support which I need from all well-meaning organizations, all and sundry,” Pastor Mambu enjoined
Expressing his willingness to change lives beyond preaching the Word of God, the ‘Preacher-farmer’ has not only been providing the various farmer-groups with ploughing help and seed rice, but also with seed money for micro-finance savings, though he pays for their labour on the farm.
This medium understood that last year Pastor Mambu launched a rice milling centre for the community and light up four communities with thirty-five million (Le35million) worth of solar lights and also promised to construct a Junior Secondary School.
Pastor Mambu thanked the chiefs and residents of the six (6) villages and farmer groups and encouraged them to see themselves as stewards of the Faith Healing Agricultural Development Farm.
Representative of the Chief of Yainkassa – Abdul F. Kabia, representative of the Head of the women’s groups, Mary S. Kargbo and Youth leader, Santigie Koroma, thanked the Pastor for not only providing them jobs and light but making life better for them and their families.
They called on the central Government, Local and International Non-Governmental Organizations and well-wishers to support the Servant of God crystallize his dream into reality.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper