Awoko Newspaper | 16 September 2009
Land owners at Koya Chiefdom together with chiefdom elders and officials of Quifel have signed a 50 years land lease agreement for agricultural purposes.
The ceremony took place at the Roman Catholic Hall in Masiaka on Friday 11th September, 2009 in the presence of officials from Quifel and legal practitioners representing both parties to the agreement.
In his speech the chairman of Koya Chiefdom Pa Kombolo Sesay disclosed that the quifel programme has been in the Koya Chiefdom for over a year and that they are happy with the effect of its presence.
He added that the effort to institute farming activity in their chiefdom was a welcome idea, reiterating that his people have been entirely relying on subsistence farming to cater for their wellbeing.
He said that this will go a long way in fighting hunger which has been prevalent in their community for so long.
The Director of quifel Tatiana Danes stated that Koya was the first chiefdom which drew quifel’s interest since its inception in Sierra Leone. She said that for effective understanding of the process, they went through every section in a bid to explain the nitty-gritty of the project implementation.
She explained that the first phase of the project includes signing of the lease and the power of attorney and the next phrase would be a group survey around the chiefdom to determine the trend of the project and to get feedback from community members. She highlighted that the company has two sides of its project which comprises the company’s profitable project and the social project. The social project she said encompasses health, education and the provision of other domestic facilities which are presumably needed by their target communities. She further mentioned that by the end of the month, upon the arrival of quifel’s country coordinator, there will be a donation of $ 5,000 (five thousand dollars) to the chiefdom.
This, she said, will subsequently climax the project plan in the chiefdom. Lawyer Kabba Koroma representing the Koya Land owners stated that there were two documents available for land owners to append their signatures. The documents were: (1) the power of attorney and (2) the lease agreement. He said the most important of the transaction was that the land about to be cultivated on was not sold but leased to quifel for a period of time. He said for clarity of the process, the signatories were allotted to their various sections.
As a result, he added, only family heads or family representatives were allowed to sign on the documents. He assured the Koya indigenes that he was there to protect their interest for as long as the agreement exists.
They expressed gratitude for such a project in their community since it will ease the whopping demand for imported rice and generally enhance food security.By Poindexter Sama