At a time when farmers across the country are knee deep in early farming activities, they could not have wished for a better intervention from the government. The move taken by the Minister of Agriculture on Monday to hand over essential agricultural equipment to The Gambia’s farming community is both timely and commendable.
It is still early days and the success of any farming season is influenced by a host of factors such as a reliable rainfall pattern. However, the timing alone of the equipment worth over D25 million at the very start of this year’s agricultural season offers hope to a country, who does not only have the majority of her people dependent on agriculture, but one that is making serious efforts in the quest to be a grain basket, an exporter of food as opposed to an importer.
Farming and agriculture in particular, is nothing new to our people, but the provision of much needed equipment like power tillers, upland rice seeders, sine hoes and findi threshing machines, by the Ministry of Agriculture with the support of the World Bank and the African Development Bank comes as a massive boost to ongoing efforts being championed by the President himself His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J Jammeh Babili Mansa towards agricultural mechanization and diversification. If anything, they would allow farmers to undertake large scale production devoid of the drudgery associated with crude farming tools that are still in existence in some localities.
This countrywide presentation of farm equipment led by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture Ismaila Sanyang and senior officials of his Ministry is fittingly themed ‘Capacitising small holder farmers with farm equipment from production to processing’.
The development has been applauded by the beneficiaries in the various regions including women gardeners in the Kanifing Municipality, where the items were first handed to the recipients.
Seen by the farming community as an indication of the country’s resolve to attain food security in tandem with goals of the Vision 2016, we would like to encourage the targeted beneficiaries especially the able-bodied to seize the moment and put to the implements being distributed to good use. By doing so, the goals of the project are bound to be met.