Sierra Rutile pumps nearly Le180 million into agric

The country’s only rutile mining company –Sierra Rutile – have invested nearly 180 million Leones (US$40,000) into an agricultural development plot which it hopes will help “to sustain alternative livelihoods of mining communities” living in its concession area.
This was revealed in a press release issued Tuesday 8th August, 2010.
The 43 acre agricultural plot which was cultivated in March 2010 is situated near Nyandehun village in the Imperri Chiefdom. Sierra Rutile provided farm equipment, improved seeds, fertilizers and insecticides for the project which presently grows Sugar Cane, Pineapples and Bananas.
This is set to be improved upon as Senior Farm Assistant, Thomas Gogra, revealed that they will soon start growing coconuts, mangoes and oranges.
In a bid to involve the local community in overseeing and maintaining the project, the company called in the local chiefs, and held consultations with the area paramount chiefs.
Together they nominated 40 local residents for hire, which includes farm assistants, casual workers and guards.
Health and Safety Manager, Ansumana M. Jabati assured the local farmers that Sierra Rutile Ltd. is developing the farm to meet community expectations. He added “We want to cater for the well-being of the host communities through sustainable agriculture. As a company, we will develop the farm and transfer ownership to the mining communities.”
Sierra Rutile Chief Financial Officer Joseph Connolly, remarked that “The agricultural development project is a display of the company’s commitment to increasing sustainable employment in the local community.”
He added that “This is just the start, going forward it is conceivable that commercial agriculture could employ as many people as mining currently does. The region is ideally suited to agriculture, given the abundance of rain, sun and fertile soil.
This coupled with the existing infrastructure, skilled local workforce and the support of Sierra Rutile Ltd., make the development of agriculture in the area an extremely exciting proposition for all concerned.”