Dec 14, 2012, 8:48 AM
Landing B. Sanneh, coordinator of National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI), has said agriculture is essential for the sustainable development of the country.
Because of the significance his office attaches to agriculture, NEDI as the enterprise arm of the Ministry of Youth and Sports cannot be left behind in the promotion of agriculture.
Sanneh stated that they came all out through the support of the ministry to give support to young people to work on farms across the country.
“There is no meaningful and genuine enterprise than agriculture, that before one can be a good entrepreneur one must eat first,” he said during a field-day in Sapu.
Some 125 youths supported by NEDI in partnership with the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), the Ministry of Agriculture and the APRC Bureau cultivated 7.5 hectares of rice in Sapu, Central River Region.
He said there will be no food without agriculture and to be a good entrepreneur one must eat so that thinking about new innovations for business development can be possible.
“Partnership is very important in agriculture and the effort of young people small or big can yield dividend,” he said.
He commended the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Agriculture for contributing to the welfare of young people.
NEDI, he said, provided the youth with inputs, logistical support and enhance their easy participation in agriculture like the rice production in Sapu and in other youth farms across the country.
“We want to make sure that apart from talking to young people not to use back way to Europe, to abandon their ‘attaya vous’, stop drug and alcohol abuse and all unfriendly behaviours of youth, we need to give them alternative means to enable them live their lives, and agriculture is one of those alternatives,” he said.
He commended the media for reporting the efforts of young people in national development, noting that young people need to be seen as they are doing very well in contributing to national development.
Alieu K. Jammeh, Minister of Youth and Sports, expressed his glee on the success of the project, saying despite all odds the project has become a success, thanks to the commitment and hardworking young people of the Central River Region.
The collaboration between his ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture is geared towards the empowerment of young people to lead the drive to achieving food self-sufficiency in the country, he said.
He added that the Sapu farm project is going to be a continuous project as “it will not have a short-life span”.
Projects like the Sapu farm and other youth farms across the country can bring about food self-sufficiency in years to come, he said.
Ashme Cole, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, called on the youth to venture into agriculture.
Agriculture is one of the opportunities the youth can take advantage of to gain self-employment, he said.
Sutay Jawo, acting-director of the NYSS, said agriculture will be one of the biggest priorities of the NYSS in the coming years.
“That is why most of our corps members are sent to Benin and other countries to be trained in agriculture and agronomy and most of whom are in the country now,” he said.
The NYSS, he added, will also be engaging in low-land production where over 100 youths will take part in the process.