Agriculture, youths top UDP’s priority areas as it unveils 2021 manifesto

Dec 21, 2020, 12:46 PM | Article By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko

The Secretary General and party leader of United Democratic Party (UDP),Ousainou Darboe has unveiled the party’s manifesto ahead of the 2021 presidential elections and agriculture and youths top the list of priorities.

Darboe made the unveiling during his acceptance speech after his re-election as Secretary General and party leader at the party’s national congress held at Pencha Mi Hall in Paradise Suites Hotel over the weekend.

"I am pleased to unveil 7 high priority areas from the ambitious agenda that will form the basis of our manifesto in the upcoming election," the UDP leader said.

"These critical areas for the kind of economic and social safety nets that can uplift people, consolidate democracy and position our country to prepare our very youthful population for a future that is full of opportunities and a nation that is free, democratic and at peace with itself and progressive in ranking humanity."

He highlighted how the party intends to pursue the sector and food safety for the Gambian people.

“We propose a whole transformation for this sector in which nearly three quarters of our people depend upon for their livelihood,” Darboe said.

According to him, UDP will implement the Maputo declaration of 2003, which calls for 10% of budgetary allocation to agriculture and rural development.

To show the level of seriousness towards agriculture, the UDP is proposing the greatest percentage of the budget to the sector.

“Under our proposal, agriculture will have the largest budget item in the annual allocation.”

His party is proposing a total revamp of the agricultural sector that will encourage mechanised and all year farming with a greater emphasis on horticulture, livestock, fisheries etc and the use of modern farming methods.

They are proposing an agricultural system that would enhance food security.

The second agenda item is Youth Employment and Empowerment Scheme that ‘we call YEES’.

The second priority area for the UDP led-government is the establishment of a youth employment and empowerment scheme cognisant of ‘our demographic reality that the majority of our population are young’.

The UDP believesinvesting in preparing ‘our youths to be educated, skilled and equipped with the entrepreneurial spirit is the key to our success as a nation.

Together with agriculture, youths are at the core of the party’s manifesto, saying these two together with the rest of the priority, is the way forward.

Also part of the key priority areas for the UDP ahead of the 2021 elections is education, a sector it intends on transforming, health, tourism, energy and climate change.