Jun 8, 2016, 12:07 PM
The team, led by the permanent secretary number 1, Sait Drammeh, was impressed by the performance of the Zoeve seed hybrids procured by the President for trial assessment in the country.
The team also visited certain mixed farming centres such as the Mamut Fana mixed farming centre and Kwinella mixed farming centre, funded by the Gambia government under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Speaking at the various fields visited, PS Sait Drammeh, on behalf of the ministry, expressed appreciation of the Zoeve hybrid maize seeds’ progress in the country.
He said this was the first time such seeds have been cultivated in the country, brought by the President through the Ministry of Agriculture.
The objective of the two-day tour, according to PS Drammeh, was for Agriculture ministry officials to visit the Zoeve hybrid maize farm in Galleh Manda village, to see for themselves the performance registered at the fields.
A new breed to the food crops in The Gambia, the seeds were brought into the country from China, he said, and thanked villagers who had participated in the process leading to its successful performance in the country.
PS Drammeh commended CRR, particularly the community of the Galleh Manda village, for being the champions of maize production in the country.
He also thanked President Jammeh for his foresight in coming out with this initiative for the Ministry of Agriculture to have access to such seeds, in collaboration with a Chinese company which has sent an expert to work closely with NARI, as well as the extension workers.
Also speaking at the rice-field in SAPU, Momodou Mbye Jabang, coordinator of the Central Project Coordinating Unit (CPCU) under the Ministry of Agriculture, said the objective of the two-day tour was to visit the new seed sites that are cultivated in the country, for the first time, to assess their performance, as well as the Vision 2016 farm in Jahally Pacharr.
He thanked the Gambian leader for ensuring that the country cultivates such seeds in the country.
Mr Jabang described the innovation as long overdue, adding that it could not come at a better time than now, and assured all that it would be a continuing process as far as the Ministry of Agriculture is concerned.
He said the best way forward for the ministry of Agriculture is to work as a consortium for the advancement of the country.
Giving the background of the Zoeve maize seed, Ansumana Jarju, the Director General of the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), explained that this was the first time this hybrid Zoeve seed (Maize) is being cultivated in The Gambia through the Ministry of Agriculture.
He noted that the crop arrived in the country on 10 August 2015, supported by a technician, as a package to work with the national implementing team in the country to guide the process of the cultivation of the Zoeve seed.
The NARI DG said the initiative was all part of transforming agricultural production and productivity, to improve the livelihood of the people through food security.