The award to be held on 29 April 2017, at the Agricultural Rural Farmers Training Centre in Jenoi in LRR, is being organised with the financial and logistical support of the International Trade Centre (ITC) through the Youth Empowerment Project-The Gambia, European Union Trust Fund for Africa, the National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (Nema), and the National Youth Council (NYC).
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Mamadou Edrisa Njie, Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN Gambia) Executive Director, said The Gambia was selected by IFAD as a leading youth mobilisation network for agricultural development in the country.
Mr Njie added that the goal of the project is to reduce poverty among rural women and young people through improved productivity based on sustainable land and water management practices.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Mariam Saine, Rural Youth Award Committee member and financial controller of GYIN, who said the idea for the first-ever Rural Youth Award stemmed from recommendations from the National Youth Summer Camp held in Jenoi, Lower River Region.
She said one of the 11-point recommendations was to organise a Rural Youth Award-celebrating youths in entrepreneurship, agribusiness and information technology.
She added that many rural youths are not making savings even though savings help young entrepreneurs to invest as well as to access loans from both commercial and financial institutions.
Alhagie M. Sarr, member of GYIN Board of Directors, said the importance of recognising and rewarding the efforts of rural youth could not be over-emphasized.
Productive youths play a vital role in the socio-economic development of any nation, he said, adding that creating opportunity that would make them realise their potentials and talents is a step in the right direction.
Bakary E.K. Jammeh, knowledge management and communication manager, urged people, especially the youths, to engage in agriculture.