Sumbuya, Southern Province, Friday 4 November 2022 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has commissioned the 42-million-dollar manufacturing facility of Sierra Tropical Limited, the country’s first mega pineapple juice producer with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes per annum.
He told the massive gathering, who had converged on Sumbuya, Lugbu Chiefdom, in the Bo District, that when he would have won the 2023 elections, his government’s priority would be agriculture to actualise his vision of massive investment in cultivation, production and valuation.
Last year the company cultivated 300 of the 4,335 hectares of land they had already leased, produced 200,000 tonnes of pineapple juice for export and employed about 1,250 people from eleven communities in the chiefdom and from across the country.
President Bio said he was, therefore, happy to be formally commissioning the facility and described the occasion as a momentous one, aimed at showcasing the budding production and export potential of the country.
He thanked them for being one of the private companies that had employed a large number of Sierra Leoneans and called on the host communities to support the company by providing the enabling environment for the business to grow and succeed.
He advised them to employ dialogue whenever there was a problem and encourage locals to also embrace agriculture, adding that there were many benefits in embarking on the agricultural sector.
Paramount Chief Ensa Badara-Nallo said that they were very happy for the opportunity to have a factory in their chiefdom, adding that the President had also supported the company to successfully operate so far.
Member of Parliament, Honourable Habib Keifa Faba of Constituency 078, said they were happy to host the President, especially because he had gone there to unveil the pineapple factory, adding that the company had treated its corporate social responsibility seriously.
“They have constructed medical facilities, created unprecedented employment opportunities that are helping to boost economic activities, sustain growth in the chiefdom and reduce crime rates,” he said.
Managing Director of Sierra Tropical Limited, Alex Rivera, recalled that they had first met the President in Tokyo, Japan, in 2019, during which they had the opportunity to discuss their plans to invest in the country.
“Today we are here to actualise the dream we had in 2019. I am very proud to state here that we started with less than 500 staff and today we have over 1,000 directly employed staff,” he said.
He thanked the President for his support to the company and pledged the company’s support to the people of Sierra Leone.
For More Enquiries: State House Media and Communications Unit