Mar 18, 2011, 1:00 PM
The embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) yesterday donated rice seeds and fertilizer to the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) at a ceremony held at Yundum Barracks.
The Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, H.E. Samuel Chen, presented the 60 bags of rice seed and 188 bags of fertilizer to the deputy chief of defence staff, Major General Ousman Badjie.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Ambassador Chen said the donation formed part of the Upland Rice Expansion Project (2009-2012) being implemented by Taiwan Technical Mission.
According to him, the donation is the third of its kind that has been made to GAF by his embassy to boost GAF’s agricultural activities.
“Agricultural development is the foundation of the economy of The Gambia,” he said, adding this was why they support the country in that drive.
The Taiwanese diplomat added that the gesture seeks to boost the country’s food self-sufficiency drive and promotes the President’s call for people to grow what they eat and eat what they grow.
For his part, Major General Ousman Badjie, on behalf of CDS and GAF in general, thanked Ambassador Chen for the donation.
According to him, GAF other than its primary duty of safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity, life and property, also play their part in other key sectors of nation-building giving reference to their agricultural activities.
He said that over the years GAF has registered some successes in their agricultural endeavours while thanking their commander-in-chief for his support.
“Already our farm lands have been cleared and we are now waiting the rains to start cultivation,” he said.
He assured the donor that the farm inputs will be put into good use by the men and women of GAF.
The commanding officer 1st infantry battalion, Major Timothy Sanyang, in his welcoming remarks, reaffirmed their commitment in answering to the President’s back-to-the-land clarion call.
The ceremony was graced by the West Coast Region agricultural director, military chiefs and the Taiwan Technical Mission staff.