The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Ismila Sanyang, on Monday embarked on a nationwide tour to hand over farming equipment worth D25 Million to the Gambian farming communities.
The equipment is provided by the Ministry with support from the World Bank and the African Development Bank. It includes power tillers, upland rice seeders, rice threshing machines, findi threshing machines, and sine hoes amongst others.
The Minister is accompanied by his Deputy, Sheriffo Bojang; the Director General of Agriculture, Falalo Touray, and the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President, Ousman Rambo Jatta, who doubles as the National Youth Mobiliser responsible for Vision 2016.
The theme for the tour is “Capacitising small holder farmers with farm equipment from production to processing.”
Shortly before departure from the Greater Banjul Area, the Minister held a brief handing over of one power tiller to the Bakau Women Garden and twenty ploughing machines which would be distributed within the Kanifing Municipality farming community.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said President Jammeh sees Vision 2016 beyond provincial Gambia.
Falalo Touray said the community should stop regarding the Municipality as a non-farming community, noting that there is still land available for farming in the KM. He also advised the beneficiary communities to take greater care of the materials.
The Mayor of KM, Yankuba Colley, expressed gratitude to the Ministry for the support, saying President Jammeh has a big heart for Gambian people, especially the farming community. “I was not surprised by these materials because every celebration of the July 22nd, we must commission new developments and these materials have come at the right time for farmers,” he said.
Luntanding Jaiteh, the Alkalo of Bakau, expressed gratitude to the Minister for coming to their aid and assured them that the materials would be used for the intended purpose.
In Brikama, the Ministerial delegation also handed over 50 ploughing machines and three power tillers to the Governor of the West Coast Region, Aminata Siffaye Hydara.
Speaking at the presentation, Sheriffo Bojang hailed the women and youth for their strong support of President Jammeh. He noted that youths and women are the driving forces in championing agriculture in the country.
The Paramount Chief, Alhaji Demba Sanyang, urged Gambians to take farming seriously; saying that with the support of the President, farming will now become easy for everyone. “The only thing we need to do is to unite and support his development agenda to eradicate hunger in the country,” he added.
In receiving the equipment, Governor Hydra said the President doesn’t want to see any woman in hardship. “That is why he is providing all the necessary equipment for farmers,” she said, adding that women of this country will never turn their back on him.
In Mansakonko, Lower River Region, the farming community was also handed power tillers, processing and ploughing machines through Salifu Puye the Regional Governor.
Falalo Touray, speaking in LRR, said with this farm equipment, youth can take the opportunities created to become professional farmers.
Aja Fatou Njie Fofana-Jajussey, the APRC Deputy National Women Mobiliser, said they are very appreciative of the materials, but was quick to urge the people on the ground to give it to the right people.
Salifu Puye for his part reiterated Government’s commitment towards the development of the agricultural sector.
by Alhagie Babou Jallow