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Ministry of Youth and Sports officials visit CRR

Feb 1, 2011, 1:09 PM | Article By: Abdourahman Sallah

The Ministry of Youth and Sports on Sunday held a consultative meeting with local authorities in Central River Region to support and empower youths at community level.

Speaking at the meeting held at the Governor's office in Janjangbureh Town, Central River Region South, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alieu K. Jammeh, said the meeting was held to discuss with local authorities about youth development.

Their main mission was to discuss with chiefs and alkalolou the issue of introducing district youth farms to be owned and managed by the youth themselves, PS Jammeh said.

"The idea behind this is to empower the youth, engaged them in income-generating activities in order to improve their standard of living," he said.

Mr Jammeh said there was a pilot project in the Lower River and North Bank Regions on rice and maize production.

"As a result of the success story in those regions we are trying to introduce it to all districts in all regions," he added.

For his part, Musa Mbye, the new deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, said that each farm in the districts will be supported with seeds, fertiliser, and farm implements as well as a grant to kick start the operation.

'This is in line with President Yahya Jammeh's call for people to go back to the land, the ministry's deputy permanent secretary, Mr Mbye, said. "In this way they will be creating more job opportunities for young people and also help to reduce poverty through food self-sufficiency."

He also says proceeds from the farms will be managed by the youth "in a form of investment for sustainability purposes".

Governor Ganyie Touray, in his remarks on the occasion, said: "This is not a new thing in the Central River Region; we have been cultivating President Jammeh’s farm in the past years."

Buttressing the truth that the initiative will benefit the youth and children of his district, Governor Touray said: "I assure you that this project will be highly appreciated by all and sundry and will address the problem of youths sitting down without doing anything."

Speaking on behalf of the chiefs, Seyfo Biran Baldeh, chief of Upper Fulladu West District, hailed President Jammeh for his foresight.

"This is a step in the right direction," he said, appealing to the youth and sports ministry to ensure "there is timely availability" of farm inputs for the youth.