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Deputy NARI Director testifies at fertilizer commission

Oct 25, 2011, 11:23 AM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Dr Mustapha Masanneh Ceesay, deputy Director at the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) yesterday testified at the fertilizer commission before a five-member panel sitting at the high court premises in Banjul.

He told the court that he lives at Tranquil, and he is the deputy Director at NARI, adding that among his duties is to support the Director General in carrying some official functions.

Dr Ceesay adduced that, in 2011, they embarked on a nationwide tour with the deputy minister of Agriculture and, while at Kerewan in the North Bank Region, one Momodou Saho told him that farmers were complaining that the Indonesian fertilizer was not good.

He added that Saho further told him that he had never used the said fertilizer before, and he would not buy the said fertilizer, adding that an extension worker in the field also told him that he heard from farmers that the said fertilizer was not good.

“Upon returning, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture called me and asked me whether I have the sample of the variety,” he stated, adding that he informed his Director General that the ministry had brought fertilizer for testing.

He further stated that at the time the fertilizer arrived there was no emergency, and he wrote a report to that effect.

The said report was admitted and tendered as an exhibit.

The witness asserted that he was aware that the fertilizer should be tested, stating that he was not surprised to be told that the fertilizer was not effective, after conducting a standard professional test.

He added that there was a high possibility that the fertilizer would not respond, because it was old.

“I did no conduct any laboratory test to confirm that potassium was not present in that Indonesian fertilizer,” he told the commission.

“Momodou Ceesay, the supplier told, me that the fertilizer was good, and the DG was aware of the trial test conducted on the fertilizer,” he added.