Nov 3, 2014, 7:01 PM
The presentation of these items was presided over by the Vice President, Dr Isatou Njie Saidy, and the Minister of Agriculture, Solomon Owens, on behalf of His Excellency the President of the Republic.
Speaking at the presentation held at State House, the permanent Secretary number 2, at the Ministry of Agriculture, Sherifo Bojang, said agricultural inputs are components that are crucially needed in terms of agricultural production and productivity in the country.
He commended Raslaan Company for coming up with this gift in complementing the efforts of the Gambian leader in this vital sector, adding that Raslaan Company focuses its commercial activities chiefly on importation of household appliances, and food items in addition to furniture; and currently is one of the largest fishing companies in the country.
Kebba Krubally, the representative of the company, stated that in response to the President’s back to the land call, Raaslaan Companyplans to invest in agriculture to make Vision 2016 not only song, but to add value by constructing and operating processing factories, and engaging in intensified and diverse horticulturalproduction.
The Minister of Agriculture, Solomon Owens, lauded the donor on behalf of the Gambian leader, noting that success in agriculture depends largely on the timely availability of inputs like fertilizers and good variety seeds.
“Your contribution will yield dividend because one of the constraints to agricultural productivity in this country is the lack of timely availability and affordability of fertilizers,” said Minister Owens.
The application of fertilizers could increase yield up to 500 percent, he said, adding that the contribution of this company by two tonnes of NPK fertilizers is quite adequate for the recommended hectare.
Minister Owens disclosed that the two tonnes could cover ten hectares of rice, and yield could be increased by over 200 percent.
“I want to thank the donors for this magnitude of contribution towards the attainment of Vision 2016 agenda,” he said, adding that it is significant because it is going to help them to attain the said objectives.
The Vice President and Minister for Women Affairs, Dr Isatou Njie Saidy, lauded the Raslaan Company for the donation and further encouraged them to continue on their plan to set up a value added agro-processing plant.
She thanked Raslaan Company for complementing the efforts of government, as a private sector.
The private sector can play a role, she asserted, while pointing out that there are also likewise other private sector enterprises outside this country that want to come in and complement the efforts of the President through providing equipments, inputs and participate in the farming sector directly, VP said.
She concluded by stating that the 2016 rice self-sufficiency agenda has continued to attract both public and private sector support and assured that this latest intervention according to agric experts could address the requirements for about ten hectares of rice fields.