in groundnut, cashew and cereals value chain have met to discuss trends,
potentials and opportunities in the agricultural sector.
The meeting was held at Jenoi in the Lower River Region and was sponsored by Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) through the International Trade Centre.
The sensitisation was also designed to create forum for value chain stakeholders ranging from producers, buyers, processors and exporters to establish business linkages and partnerships.
Speaking at the ceremony, the project manager of YEP, Modou Touray, said YEP is for Gambians and they will sponsor citizens in their developmental plans. He added that the sensitisation was for the agriculture stakeholders to outline their challenges, improve on them and discuss a way forward.
“YEP empowers the young people and all the sectors that involve or are in line with the youths in order for them to benefit themselves in future. We train youths in business for them to contribute their quotas in national development,” he said.
He added that they initiated a project to help the youths with loans up to D500, 000. He stated that those youths must have their running businesses. He said YEP has been helping the agricultural sector with lots of equipment that can help them.
SariyangJorbateh, the director general, Department of Agriculture explained that since independence, The Gambia has made steady progress toward improving agricultural sector, particularly the value chain for groundnut, cashew and cereals to achieving food security. He added that its population has increased but food-grain production has not equated with population growth, pointing out that therehas been a decrease in available food-grain per capita.
He commented that an important role of the government besides funding, will be to create an enabling environment for private investment. “This needs to be done through tax rationalisation, duty exemptions, increase in public spending, priority sector and others.
YayaJurjusey, the chief of Jarra West in Lower River Region (LRR) appreciated the initiative of helping the farmers. He said the president believesin the fight against unemployment.
He added that if the agricultural sector is empowered, our youths that are going through the illegal journey to Europe might not go; instead, they would have work that will help generate income for them here.
“The farmers should enjoy their labour and the government should not put their own interest to affect the farmers that have been suffering since,” he urged.