May 23, 2014, 10:22 AM
Hundreds of volunteers, mainly young people under the auspices of the Association of the Wood Re-exporters and Forest Users in The Gambia, at the weekend descended on President Jammeh’s groundnut farm in Kanilai.
Also at the president’s farm at the weekend were officials of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
According to the officials of the timber dealers, their participation to the harvesting of the president’s farms was part of their efforts at contributing to the development of the country.
Speaking at the exercise, the acting director of Forestry Department, Sarjo Fatajo, hailed the participants for their large turnout to the president’s farm.
“This has shown that members of the association of timber dealers and forest users are not only a business-minded people but also complementing government’s effort in national development,” he said.
He noted that the Gambian leader is here to promote food security and the farms are great example to the whole world that President Jammeh is a leading example in farming.
He opined that Gambians should follow President Jammeh and respond to his clarion call for people to go back to the land.
According to him, the call of the president is the best tool to fight against hunger and drive poverty in the country.
He further called on members of the association of wood re-exporters to redouble their effort in contributing to national development as well as ensure the protection of the country’s natural resources for the benefit of those yet unborn.
He added that the department of forestry will do everything possible to support the association in the best interest of the country.
Also speaking at the exercise, Masanneh Ceesay working from the MSC, said as a company, they were pleased to be associated with the activity.
Alhagie NJobo Sabally, president of the wood re-exporters in Upper River Region, said they were also happy to participate in the harvesting exercise.
He used the opportunity to appeal to the president to reconsider lifting the ban on the timber re-export trade.
Makam Sabally, a participant from Sare Manson in Jimara, Upper River Region, also called on the government to consider re-opening the timber trade as they have suffered a lot since the ban took effect.
He said their association will do everything possible to be law-abiding and respect the law of the forest.
Lamin Barrow, chairman of the Association of the Wood Re-exporters and Forest users in The Gambia, said: “We are here today to contribute our quota to national development since the produce from these farms are used to support the development initiatives of the president.”
He then went on to praise President Jammeh for the love he has for nature and for leading by example as master farmer in the sub-region.
He said based on that his association will continue to collaborate with any development partners in joining the president at his farms.
He also thanked and hailed his over one thousand members who took part in the voluntary exercise. He further thanked MSC for their contribution in ensuring that this exercise becomes a reality.