Traditional Leaders and their subjects were in jubilant moods last week Friday to have learnt that Sierra Tropical Limited are in an advanced stage for the completion of a $42m investment projects in Sumbuya, Lugbu chiefdom, Sothern Sierra Leone.
The investment will create massive jobs for Sierra Leoneans across the country but most especially for locals living in Lugbu Chiefdom and the southern region as a whole.
Over 10 communities will benefits from the investment project with 4,335 hectares already leased to produce 200,000 tonnes pineapple juice per year.
The investment according to President Julius Maada Bio is timely and appropriate as he conducted the company facilities.
Residents of Lugbu Chiefdom who spoke to Guardian Post were in ecstasy and happiness as unemployment will be a thing of the past in a community which is deprived and challenged.
They unanimously congratulate management of Sierra Tropical for the huge investment and assured the company of their unflinching and unwavering supports throughout their stay in Sumbuya and Lugbu chiefdom.
Traditional leaders of Lugbu Chiefdom have being waiting for such an opportunity as the youthful populace solely depends on bike riding and farming for their well-being.
‘This is a blessing for us in Lugbu Chiefdom,’ they chanted.
‘We are happy for such a huge investment in our chiefdom; we’ve being waiting for such an opportunity which will gladly transformed our chiefdom and the beneficiary villages.
They consistently called on other investors in the country and the world at large to follow the good step of Sierra Tropical who they say are credible investors that doing marvelous works within their operational areas.
Sierra Tropical Limited with financing from the parent company based in Japan-ITOCHU, has at the moment, with guidance from the Government of Sierra Leone, acquired 4,335 hectares of land from landowners/landowning families from the Lugbu chiefdom in the Bo district where the pineapple company will be located.
According to our investigation; 4,335 hectares of land where the pineapple and other tropical fruits plantation, cannery and processing facilities will be established thereby thriving the economy of the country in a more positive and robustly way.
The Japanese Government will be strongly supporting the project and other infrastructural developments when operation kicks off as Sierra Leoneans will have the opportunities to acquired Technical/Vocational Training to acquire the required skills when operations kicked off in earnest.
In 2019, ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced that ITOCHU has established Sierra Tropical Limited (hereinafter “STL”) through Dole Asia Holdings (headquartered in Singapore; Takeshi Kumekawa, CEO, hereinafter “DAH”) to begin pineapple cultivation and commercial production of processed foods of pineapple in the Republic of Sierra Leone. ITOCHU will pursue further growth in the Dole packaged foods business and contribute to the development of the local community through the business.
The business is to aim at increasing jobs/enhancing the living environment through the cultivation of local industry, Risk management, fund-raising, and human resources development by Public Private Partnership are important to maintain/manage the business for the long term and contribute to the local community in the future.
In starting this business, as measures against country risks, ITOCHU has taken out loans and investment insurance by Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI). Moreover, ITOCHU is considering the conclusion of a memorandum on fund-raising with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a memorandum on human resources development with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The completion of the factory will finished early next year.