May 27, 2011, 2:22 PM
In a bid to increase agricultural productivity, the National Agricultural Reasearch Institute (NARI) recently handed over nine power tillers, ten rice threshers and other agricultural implements to the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) and the Association of Farmers Platform.
The provision of these implements said to have been manufactured in The Gambia, except the power tillers, which were imported from China, is funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, at NARI's engineering unit in Yundum, Dr. Babou Ousman Jobe, the Director General of NARI underscored the significance of the provision of what he described as significant materials. As he put it, it is geared towards setting the stage for operationalising agricultural research for development.
He noted that his department is now shifting from the old practice to a new one, where NARI will have an interface with all stakeholders to ensure that whatever technology is developed have an impact. He maintained that the youths have a critical link in the sense that they should take the lead in the farming. As he put it, they have more energy, more formal education and can easily effect changes, especially in the adoption of Science and Technology, to enhance agricultural production and productivity.
He expressed gratitude to the NYSS for their collaboration and urged the youths to continue their commitment. He commended the agricultural engineering programme of NARI for taking up the challenge.
For his part, Momodou S. Kah, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, posited that the participation of the youths in national development couldn’t be over-emphasised. According to him, youths constitute about 60 percent of the country’s populace, adding that "therefore every individual has a role to play in the attainment of Vision 2020."
"The attainment of agriculture and the Vision 2020 cannot succeed without the involvement of the young people," he said.
He used the occasion to thank the Islamic Development Bank for their contribution, as well as the agricultural engieering for their efforts.