Sep 23, 2011, 1:53 PM
Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Management of Gambia Emergency Agricultural Production Project (GEAPP), under the department of Agriculture, recently visited GEAPP intervention project sites in the country.
The visit, which covered West Coast Region, Lower River Region and North Bank Region, was facilitated by the Management of GEAPP through the coordination of Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, the Project Coordinator.
The delegation, which started its tour at West Coast Region, was led by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ada Gaye, accompanied by two deputy permanent secretaries in the persons of Asheme Cole and Sherifo Bojang.
The delegation, accompanied by the media, also included the deputy director of Plant Protection Services, Landing Sonko.
The purpose of the visit was to evaluate the infrastructural development done by the GEAPP across the regions.
Speaking during the tour in Jarra Some at the newly constructed seed store sponsored by GEAPP, the Chief of Jarra West, Alhagie Yaya Jarjursey, told the delegation that the impact of GEAPP to the farmers is clear in the sense that after the intervention of the project farmers have been blessed with bumper harvest, which is geared towards boosting the agricultural productivity in the country.
He explained that currently farmers in his district were able to save substantial amount of money thanks to the intervention of GEAPP.
He also told the delegation that the project has came purposely to alleviate the constraints of farmers in boosting their agricultural productivity.
The chief noted: “There is no doubt that this project has been implemented as expected, in the sense that farmers are now blessed to acquire farming implements thanks to the intervention of GEAPP.”
The Chief added that all what is needed now is collective responsibility by all to ensure the project is sustained in the regions for the farmers.
He then challenged the farmers to take great care of the facilities provided them by the GEAPP, adding that the seed stores would go a long way in helping the farmers to preserve their seeds.
The chief used the occasion to hail the management of GEAPP under the Ministry of Agriculture for their effort in addressing the plight of the farmers. “We really appreciate the GEAPP intervention in our districts in the sense that this project has yielded dividend on the farmers.”
He then challenged the farmers to continue working hand in glove to ensure food self-sufficiency are realised in this country.
For his part, the deputy Governor of Lower River Region, Majanko Samusa, expressed “total satisfaction” over the intervention of the project in his regions, saying the GEAPP project is highly commendable since the project came purposely to rescue farmers from losing their farming productivity but to help them boost their agricultural farming production.
The effort of the management of GEAPP in addressing the farmers’ plight is in line with the Government of The Gambia’s vision, he said.
The Deputy Governor further told the delegation that the GEAPP project has been well implemented in the regions, adding that “all what is needed is to have committed project coordinators like those of the GEAPP, then this country will soon achieve our objectives in ensuring food self-sufficiency in this country.”
He further emphasised that the reason for failing in most of the projects is due to lack of committed coordinators, “unlike the GEAPP coordinator”.
The deputy Governor added that in the case of GEAPP if the project coordinator was not committed then farmers would not have seen some of the developments registered in their villages.
“Thanks to the management of GEAPP for their loyalty, devotion, and sacrifice, they are ensuring that the project is implemented to the letter,” he noted.
The deputy governor also commended the permanent secretary of agriculture ministry for always going round to see the infrastructural development done by the project designed under the Ministry of Agriculture.
“This is a welcome move and is encouraging not only to the project coordinator but to the farmers as well,” he said. “This familiarisation tour is what is expected from the permanent secretary and it deserves commendation since it is a sign of encouragement to the farmers.”
The deputy Governor further told the delegation that the VDC, the farmers, chiefs, the youth, and all and sundry appreciate the infrastructural development work carried out by GEAPP in the villages, such as constructing seed stores, which is very helpful to the farmers.
Members of the delegation who spoke during the field visit expressed satisfaction over the progress made by the GEAPP in just eight months.
The delegation also visited Charmen Agricultural Training Centre, which was also rehabilitated under the GEAP Project.