K Paper Ltd., an India-based multi-national and multi-billion dollar company, is now finalising plans with the aim of investing up to US$1.7 billion in Sierra Leone's agriculture sector.
A team of experts from the company were in Sierra Leone from January 19th to 31st on a fact finding and feasibility study mission that focused on the country's climate, soil type, prevailing humidity and the availability of land in the quantum of one hundred thousand (100,000) hectares for plantations leading to the production of pulp and paper.
According to the pioneer, Dr. Ankur Purohit, Sierra Leone's Honorary Consul in Chicago, the United States of America, the project is in line with President Ernest Bai Koroma's 'Agenda for Prosperity' for the development of Sierra Leone.
"I met with the CEO of JK Paper Ltd. over a year ago and introduced Sierra Leone to him as one country that has the potential to expand his industry. After continued engagements with him (the CEO), he finally consented to send a team to assess the possibility of a paper and pulp plantation and the industry," Dr. Ankur explained.
He stated that when the project materializes it would provide between 8,000 to 12,000 jobs for Sierra Leoneans, majority of them being in the rural communities.
Dr. Ankur, together with his Sierra Leonean colleagues, took the team of experts to the northern and southern provinces where they received overwhelming welcome and support from the Paramount Chiefs and the local communities.
In a recent development, on arrival of the experts back to India after debriefing with their CEO, the latter has sent a message to Dr. Ankur appreciating the warm welcome given to the experts and for the provision of all relevant information pertaining to the feasibility study.
JK, founded over 150 years ago, is a prominent industrial group in India. The Group has multi-business, multi-product and multi-location attributes. The Group manufactures and markets a large range of products with leadership position in several areas including Automotive Tyres and Tubes, Paper & Pulp, Cement, Industrial V-Belts, Oil Seals, Power Transmission Systems, Hybrid Seeds, Woolen Textiles, Readymade Apparels, Sugar, Food & Dairy Products, and Cosmetics, etc. The company also is involved in medical Clinical Research and Software Development. The JK Organization is recognized as a dynamic force playing a key role in the resurgence of India.