The contract is still pending final approval, but here I am in Kenema, starting to prepare the operations in the cocoa plantation.
As it turns out, the land needs preparing to start planting.
Existing cocoa trees, affected by black pod disease, also needs to be removed. We’ll need to ensure we take a very good care of the new crops, to ensure the disease doesn’t come back.
I have been busy hiring about 15 individuals. An experienced farm manager, and manual labourers.
Whilst I will be present to supervise the progress, I also need people on site to help, when I am away.
I will not plant cocoa over the whole land on the first year. I will try the cacao seeds that have been given to me by the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute and assess the results before doing a full plantation.
I’ll also plant cassava and pineapple.
A pagode and dormitories are being built next to the land, for those that need to be close to the crops and also wwoofers, that I aim at bringing to the project next year.
I’m sure they will enjoy being here. The Moa river runs alongside the plantation, it’s beautiful.