Taiwan gives fertilizer worth over US$1M to Gambia
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Wednesday donated 1810 metric tons of fertilizer amounting to US$1, 036.670 (one million, thirty-six thousand, six hundred and seventy US dollars) to The Gambia for use by the country’s farming communities in the forthcoming rainy season.
The fertilizers, which include 910 metric tons of compound fertilizer and 450 tons of Urea, are provided to support Gambia’s Upland Rice Expansion project as part of the bilateral cooperation between The Gambia and Taiwan. The fertilizer will also supply 8,700 hectares of upland rice field in the Upper River Region, Central River Region South and North as well the North Bank Region and West Coast Region.
The presentation of the first batch of the fertilizer, which amounted to 690 metric tons of compound fertilizer and Urea was held at the Gambia Groundnut Cooperation (GGC)depot in Banjul Wednesday where the Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, Samuel Chen made the handing over to the minister of Agriculture, Solomon Owens.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Ambassador Chen said the fertilizers are good for growing rice and various crop varieties.He explained that they are meant to help Gambia recover from the crop failure that hit the country during last year’s farming season particularly in the areas that were seriously affected.
He disclosed that there are 460 metric tons of compound fertilizer and 230 metric tons of Urea in the first consignment while the second consignment, which is expected to arrive in the country in 10 days time, will contain 450 metric tons of compound fertilizer and 220 metric tons of Urea.“We believe that the provision of these fertilizers will immensely contribute to the expansion and development of The Gambia’s agriculture sector,” he said.
While calling on the beneficiaries to make best use of the fertilizer, Ambassador Chen commended the government of The Gambia for her stance in the development of agriculture. He also assured his government’s unreserved commitment to stand by The Gambia and support her in all her development strives.
Solomon Owens, the minister of Agriculture, described the donationas Taiwan’s significant contribution to Gambia’s food security initiative, adding that The Gambia is hoping for a thorough agricultural recovery in this year’s rainy season.He said that Taiwan and The Gambia have now become one people and share many thing in common. “This is the first time such an excellent fertilizer is coming to the country,” he added.
Minister Owens used the gathering to call on the beneficiaries to ensure that the fertilizers are utilised in the country. He also assured farmers that they would be bound to witness significant harvest in this year’s rainy season if they make the best use of the fertilizer.
Author: Amadou Jallow