Mechanised Agric equipment for Gambia
Friday, May 18, 2012
John Deere, an American corporation and the leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery in the world is set to invest in the country’s agriculture sector with its first shipment of mechanised equipment set to arrive in the country in two weeks.
This development was disclosed by top officials of the company who met the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh Thursday evening at State House in Banjul, in the company of the minister of Agriculture, Solomon Owens.
Speaking at the end of a closed-door meeting with the Gambian leader, the president, Agriculture and Turf Division of John Deere, David C. Everitt, said he was in Banjul as part of their efforts to bring more agricultural mechanisation to the country.
“We spent time talking to the president about the importance of agricultural mechanisation, modern technology, training and the capability that we think we can bring to the country; and I have to tell you that I was very impressed with the president’s knowledge in agriculture,” he told reporters.
how their partnership with the government will impact on the nation’s drive for
food self-sufficiency, Everitt underscored that it is their firm conviction that
in a country like The Gambia the ability to be self-sufficient in food
production is important to its stability and its future.
He added that their
partnership is key in view of the fact that the climate is changing rapidly and
the ability to have a sustainable and viable agriculture base is important for
John Deere managing director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Len Brand, for his part disclosed that the first shipment of the equipment is already on its way to the country, saying, “we expect the machines to arrive in the next two weeks.
” The arrival,
he said, will be ensued into the start of the training of the operators on how
to utilise the equipment effectively. He also disclosed that other equipment
will keep on coming towards the end of the year.
“The equipment that we are bringing in now include tractors, and implements focused on groundnut and corn production and then we will move over to rice production as well and we are also bringing in some irrigational equipment because it is clear that The Gambia has abundance of water but it is not utilising this water to create sustainable farming,” he concluded.
It would be
recalled that the government of The Gambia on March 22 signed an agreement with
John Deere, to among other things, supply agricultural mechanised equipment and
maintenance of farm implements, as well as transferring skills and technical
know-how to Gambian farmers.
The signing ceremony, which was presided over by the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy at State House in Banjul marked a critical step in the nation’s relentless drive towards food security through mechanised farming. It is anticipated that agricultural production will be pushed further with the arrival and utilisation of these equipment.
Author: Hatab Fadera