Omar Jallow, Minister of Agriculture recently handed over 21 power tillers to
21 communities within the West Coast and North Bank regions respectively.
The power tillers were purchased by the GCAV project under the Central Projects Coordinating Unit of the agriculture sector.
The Agric Minister said that The Gambia has decided to transform agriculture, mechanise and diversify it to become a viable food chain processing, packaging, and having easy access to market, adding that this was the beginning of that transformation.
He said in The Gambia, 88% of the women are engaged in horticultural development and that when the transformation was complete, then vegetable gardening would be a commercial venture.
“We have to ensure that vegetable production, and horticulture can play an important role in youth employment, agro industrial development and government will gain by having foreign exchange from the export.”
Minister Jallow disclosed that they would try to encourage Public Private Partnership (PPP) in horticulture so as to ensure both increased production and export.
He also encouraged the youth and the men to venture into horticultural development and production, noting that if one went to the gardens, they find only women.
The Agric Minister noted that his ministry was aware of the challenges facing the horticultural sub sector and promised that they would do their best to address those challenges.
He commended the horticulture director who is also the chair of the Women’s Bureau for the hard work and dedication to her work.
He said she has been supporting the progress of women in the country, adding that if the women of any country are left behind, that country would ever continue to be backward.
For his part, Momodou Mbye Jabang, the GCAV project director, who is also the coordinator of the Central Projects Coordinating Unit (CPCU), said the objective enshrined in the agriculture and natural resource policy and the national agriculture investment plan and the GCAV are all geared towards improving livelihood.
Also speaking, the deputy permanent secretary at the Office of the Vice President, Bintou Gassama-Jammeh, thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for investing in women, noting that it was not just a wise initiative but a smart thing to do.
She urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the power tillers as priority was given to them out of half a million women.
Speakers included Sariyan Jorbateh, acting Director of the Department of Agriculture and Amie Fabureh, the director of Horticulture Technical Service of the agriculture sector, who both commended GCAV for its work and support.
Fatou Ndow, who represented the farmers, gave the vote of thanks.