The 10,000 Layers
Journalists were taken on a conducted tour at the Sierra Akker Farm located at Sumbuya in the Koya chiefdom Port Loko District on Friday 24th October 2014.
It may be recalled that NASSIT was wrongfully painted by some sections of the media a while ago, and on Tuesday 21st October at their conference room clarifications were made on the poultry investment to which NASSIT made a US$1.5M input, instead of the very inaccurate US$30M investment allegation made against the Trust by these sections of the media.
Mr. Osman Koroma, Head of Public Media briefed the battery on the investment moves made by NASSIT to increase its capital base for it to meet the demands of the growing population it will have to cater for in the next 20 to 30 years. He said NASSIT made a 30% investment into the shares of Sierra Akker Company.
Speaking to the Press, Pakai Kamara the CEO of the company said after approaching the Dutch Government to sponsor such agricultural investment, the Dutch government provided funds through the Private Sector Investment (PSI) fund which is a private sector window created for entrepreneurs of such nature. He said as a Sierra Leonean with Dutch citizenship he was assisted by officials from a university in Holland who collaborated with some professors at the Njala University to conduct feasibility studies in the said location.
He also had support from a foundation which supported the refurbishment of the only health post in the Sumbuya community which is currently serving 27 surrounding villages. Fifty Thousand Euros worth of drugs is being provided for that health unit each year through their benevolence.
At the 40 acre farm, journalists were informed that the present facility caters for 10,000 layers with another 10,000 day-olds expected from Holland soon. Mr. Pakai Kamara informed that abatuars will soon be set up that will cater for boilers, cattle and small remnants. Pakai informed the press that NASSIT being a clever investor invested 30% after getting an informed opinion about Sierra Akker; not only looking at the potential profit but the social aspect especially in the processing of food. He said the project is the 1st of its kind in the Mano River region, with prospects to expand beyond Sierra Leone’s borders. He highlighted that such a project will reduce the dependency on stale, imported chicken, noting that the fresh agricultural produce will allow Sierra Leoneans to eat fresh and healthy eggs and meat at anytime of the day and night.
Pakai revealed that Sierra Akker will reach its full capacity by producing 60,000 eggs per day of which 70% of that production is estimated to feed the entire country. He said they have 50 permanent /casual workers and have invested US$2.5M including equipment purchased from Netherlands. He also reiterated that the project will provide jobs for young people who will be privileged to operate Modern Dutch Agricultural Machines. He disclosed that they are filling the knowledge gap through the establishment of a training centre.
The feed meal furnished with state of the art equipment which can mix maize, oyser shells, concentrate, gari, palm oil and other nutritious ingredients purchased from our local farmers. The CEO said 10 tons of ingredients are needed to feed all the layers, boilers and cattle.
At the layer stage 10,000 commercial layers are supported with fully automated feeding and laying belts and an effective gravity activated water supply system. There is also rearing stable for day old chicks.
This reporter noted the high standard of hygienic practice at the site. Its facility includes washing and changing rooms a fuel depot, kitchen and restaurant for staff including free medical treatment for them except for cases that need to be referred. It was also observed that the health facility is fully functional with 8 beds, no reported Ebola case and no admission at the time of our visit. Journalists enjoyed the hospitality of NASSIT’s worthwhile investment as we were treated with a delicious lunch of fresh egg sandwiches.
Source: Awareness Times