D12M worth of tractors handed over to farmers

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema) recently handed over 5 tractors to farmers in four communities in The Gambia. The tractors, which worth over 12 million dalasi, were distributed among 4 communities namely: Nuimi Jurunku, Dobong Kunda and Noo  Kunda. The fourth community, Jarra Madina received two tractors.

Out of the amount used to purchase these tractors, 10% was from the farmer beneficiaries, 45% from the NEMA and the other 45% was given as loan to farmers.

Handing over the tractors, Musa Houma, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of the Agric minister, underscored that mechanisation is a crucial input for agricultural crop production, an area that historically has been neglected in the context of developing countries, The Gambia inclusive.

DPS Houma maintained that through the Matching Grant Scheme, which is more technically referred to as Capital Investment Stimulation Fund (CISF), farmers and the private sector have an increase opportunity to drive the mechanisation of agriculture through improved access to capital for investment.

He added that the matching grant has directly invested D25 million as its 45% contribution and mobilised additional D25.5 million in private sector investment to support up to 24 enterprises, comprising 155 beneficiaries and 52% women groups.

These enterprises are, he said, effectively providing farm inputs and implements as well as contributing significantly in job creation for rural youth and women; increasing production areas by more than 10,000 hectares annually, thereby contributing to increase production and income.

Momodou Mbye Jabang of Central Projects Coordinating Unit, announced that in a week’s time, they will be designing a new project that would follow the NEMA which is expected to phase out soon.

Mbaye Jabang indicated that within the scope of projects under the Ministry of Agriculture, NEMA and FASDEP have both provided nothing less that D25million each.

He thus used the event to commend IFAD for their partnership with the ministry in ensuring the development of agriculture and attaining the country’s Sustainable Development Goals of food security in the country.

He also called on the beneficiaries to ensure sustainability of the tractors, assuring that they will be doing a thorough monitoring on the equipment.

Also speaking, Amie Fabureh, director of Horticulture noted that this is not the first of its kind as they have always been supportive to farmers in the country. This, she said, is all geared towards enhancing agricultural productivity.

She highlighted some of the achievements of NEMA such as 33 community gardens, quality materials trying to improve farming in the country, all geared towards complementing government efforts.

Njagga Jawo and Muhammed Jikineh, who represented farmer associations in The Gambia and beneficiary farmers respectively, both commended NEMA and their partners for the support.

Author: Fatou B. Cham