Minister,Omar Jallow and the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, Zhang Jiming on
Tuesday handed over 13 containers of rice to Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC).
Donated by the Chinese government, the 13 containers that comprised 2,500 tonnes were handed over to KMC Mayor Yankuba Colley for onward distribution to needy Gambians.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony held at KMC Multipurpose Centre, Minister Jallow said the connection between the governments of The Gambia and China “is for the betterment of The Gambia”.
He said Gambians should not only appreciate the renewed relationship between the two countries, but should also work towards strengthening the relationship.
“What I like about the Chinese government is that when they are helping, they offer you help on what is really affecting the people so as to improve the lives of people,” the agric minister said.
Jallow also thanked the benefactors “for not putting conditionality” on the donation.
“The only condition, which I agree with, is for the rice not to be sold but given to each and every Gambian free of charge,” he said.
He said following a discussion with the Minister of Local Government, any distribution of commodities in The Gambia, local government has to take the lead.
“This is why all these rice are to be distributed through the regional governors for onward distribution to the needy Gambians,” Minister Jallow said.
He said in the past, such donation of rice was usually distributed in the rural areas, “but today there is rural hunger and urban hunger.”
“Because of failure of agriculture, all the young people in the provinces are moved to the urban areas,” he said.
Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, Zhang Jiming, said the donation of 2,500 tonnes of rice from China is a goodwill gesture from the Chinese people to the government of The Gambia.
He said the donation is meant to support the Gambian people’s effort to achieve food security.
The ambassador said China will continue to support The Gambia’s effort to further develop agriculture, in order to achieve food security and food sufficiency.
“Chinese are good friends of The Gambia and good partners,” he said. “Our cooperation will focus on people and will be based on people.”
The Mayor of KMC Yankuba Colley expressed delight at the donation, as he thanked the Chinese and The Gambia governments, through the Minister of Agriculture for “this` positive development.”