Give attention to Findi cultivation
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
At his first meeting in URR, the Gambia leader called on the people of the Upper River Region (URR) to diversify agriculture and to give attention to the cultivation of findi, a cereal crop.
Describing it as one of the best food crops that one could ever find, the president pointed out that findi has enormous health benefits. President Jammeh made this remark on Wednesday in Gambisara, URR, while addressing thousands of people as part of his 'Dialogue with the people tour'. According to him, it is high time that people gave attention to the crop's cultivation as it is easier to cultivate compared to rice.
To this end, he reiterated his call for hard work and for Gambians to eat what they grow. He emphasised the fact that in the olden days people survived over a century with little health facilities, but that today this is not the case despite the advances in the health sector. "For the country to move forward, we must all work hard. Let us work hard to feed ourselves. A lot of food stuff is being imported into the country which we do not even know anything about. In fact, it is advisable that human beings eat what we know," emphasised the Gambian leader, while urging the male folks of the country to work like the women to ensure that we feed ourselves. The president expressed gratitude to the Gambian women, noting that they have fulfilled the promise made to him. And he also told them that he has also fulfilled his promises to them. But President Jammeh was quick to add that Gambian women have seen nothing yet in terms of development.
In other words, there is more development to come for the women of The Gambia. Expressing his unreserved commitment to the transformation of the country into a model for others, the president pledged to extend the electricity supply in the region as part of phase two of the Rural Electrification Project.
Yankuba Touray, secretary of state for Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters, who doubles as the national mobiliser of the ruling APRC party, urged the people of URR to stop financing risky ventures like the boat journeys through the Atlantic Ocean, in desperate attempts to reach Europe.
Out of every 60 youth who die on this route, SoS Touray said, 40 are from URR. He told the gathering that President Jammeh does not wish to stop anyone from traveling to Europe, but was quick to add that anyone who wants to travel they should do so through the right way with the right documents. Touray further told the people of URR that the thousands of Gambian dalasis that the president spends in bringing back the dead bodies of Gambian youth from the deserts and high seas could have been useful in other development sectors of the country. He called on parents and anyone who sponsors their family members to go via such disastrous routes to consider that the lives of their children are more precious than money.
SoS Touray used the platform to delve on the dangers associated with illegal migration, saying that the phenomenon causes serious setbacks to the country's development efforts. He further called on the people of the region to embrace the president of the Republic and the APRC government. The government, he added, cannot do everything for the people, emphasising that the development of the country is the responsibility of all.
Also speaking at the meeting, the chief of Jimara, Haji Kulleh Camara, expressed gratitude to the Gambian leader for bringing development close to the doorsteps of the people off the region, stating that the president has done what is required of him. The Jimara chief pointed out the fact that all the health facilities in the region are currently being provided with ambulances and equipped pharmacies, thanks to the concern shown by the president.
Chief Haji Kulleh Camara described this year's groundnut trade season as successful, noting with gratitude the fact that the president has bought all the farmers' groundnut. He joined the Gambian leader in imploring the masses to till the land for food self-sufficiency.
Speaker after speaker heaped praises on the president for improving their lives through the provision of basic social amenities. Earlier on in the day, President Jammeh visited irrigated rice perimeter pump stations 2 and 3 at Sankuley Kunda. He also visited Bansang Senior Secondary School, where he donated 10,000 liters of gas oil for use with the school's generator.
The presidential tour continues tomorrow, with scheduled meetings in Basse and surrounding settlements.
Author: Hatab Fadera & Amadou Jallow