Feb 25, 2010, 2:59 PM
The Gambia Emergency Agricultural Production Project (GEAPP) has donated farming implements to the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) through the Ministry Youth and Sports.
The donated items included two power tillers, two seeders, two rice thresher,150 bags of fertilizers, 200 litre of chemical insecticide and other items.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony of the farming implement at Abuko, the project coordinator of GEAPP, Sheikh Tijan Sosseh, expressed delight at the effort of his office in donating such "very important implements" to the NYSS through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
This is all geared towards complementing government effects to ensure food security and his Excellency's vision in supporting the youths in going back to agriculture, he said.
He added that the Ministry of Youth and Sport has been collaborating with his office for the past few years for the development and encouragement of the youth to involve more in agriculture.
This is not the first request that the Ministry of Youth and Sport has made to the Ministry of Agriculture for assistance and based on this the management of GEAPP deemed it necessary to increase more assistance to the Ministry of Youth and Sport by providing them with farming implements to enhance the productivity of the youth.
"This is one way of encouraging and motivating the youth to involve more in agricultural development," he added.
Mr Sosseh, however, gave an overview of the project and its successes in the brief period it has been existing.
He called on the Ministry of Youth and Sport to give priority to the youth and engage the Minister of Agriculture at field level.
For his part, the Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Sait Drammeh, express similar sentiments as those of previous speakers and commended the management of GEAPP through the Department of Agriculture for the positive role and assistance the project has been rendering towards nation building.
Drammeh also challenged the Ministry of Youth and Sport to continue working with the Ministry of Agriculture for the development of all.
Also speaking on the occasion was the Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council, Marchel Mendy, who expressed joy and appreciation for receiving the farming implements on behalf of the Ministry of Youths and Sport.
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Babucarr Njie, said the initiative was a clear indication and sign of encouragement to the youth to take the lead in agriculture.
He also described the initiative as a step in the right direction looking at the importance attached to agriculture. "We have to involve the youth in our activities, as they are the future leaders," he said.
Also speaking on behalf of the World Bank, Alieu Badara Joof commended the GEAPP for the initiative.
Supporting the youth is key to nation-building, he says while urging the Ministry of Youth and Sports to put the donating farm implements into good use "as this will enhance the youths in agricultural development".
Other speakers on the occasion included the permanent secretary of Youth and Sports, Alieu Jammeh, who also applauded GEAPP for the gesture.
The presentation of the tools was witnessed by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Babucarr Njie, the World Bank representative in The Gambia, Alieu Badara Joof, the permanent secretary for Youth and Sports, Alieu Jammeh, the Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Sait Drammeh, and other top officials.