Barrow announces $85m projects to reclaim rice field overtaken by salt

Dec 15, 2020, 11:39 AM | Article By: Momodou Jawo on tour

As the nationwide tour of the President intensifies, President Adama Barrow has revealed that his government will soon launch two combined $85 million projects designed to reclaim rice fields overtaken by salt in CRR.

This, he said, is his government commitment to boost agricultural production and productivity throughout the country.

President Barrow, currently on tour, in fulfillment of a constitutional requirement made this remark at Baati Ndar in CRR North.

Barrow thanked the people of Baati Ndar for the impressive welcome, saying that it has cleared any doubts about their loyalty to the National People’s Party.

President Barrow outlined his government's plans and priorities for the future, promising to revive rice production in Saloum, while maintaining that his government has procured 50 tractors which would be distributed among farmers.

Speakers including the alkalo (head of the village) and the youth representative both urged the president to help them in improving agricultural production in the area given the fact that Upper Saloum is a predominantly farming area. They further appealed to government to help reclaim their rice fields which have been overtaken by salt water.

Modou Lamin Ceesay, appealed to the President to provide the youth with skill centres and job opportunities to stem the tide of migration to neighbouring Senegal in the dry season.

The meeting also saw the purported defection of APRC and GDC supporters in Saloum to the NPP, led by one Alh Ebou Jobe. The defectors claimed that the future lies with President Barrow.

The lady councilor, Sara Bah, said the women of Saloum have all rallied behind President Barrow because they have seen his development track record in the last four years. However, she urged the government to do more to address their challenges.

The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Upper Saloum, Hon. Alhaji Mbowe, commended government for constructing three schools in CRR as promised, but appealed for three more to meet the rising demand for enrolment.

Responding to appeals from the youth, the Youth and Sports Minister Bakary Badjie, revealed that government intends to expand the NYSS in CRR and NBR. He also said that three mini stadiums would be constructed in Janjanbureh, Fulabantang and Kaur, whilst another D20 million will be provided as loans to eligible young people.

The minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure, Bai Lamin Jobe, said President Barrow's government places high premium on deprived areas of the North Bank, leading to the launch of many projects this year. These interventions, the minister added, will see the construction of over 300km of roads covering five constituencies.

The Minister of Local Government and Lands, Musa Drammeh said he would consult the local Councillor to engage the Kuntaur Area Council to assess the roads to the rice fields to enable government design a plan to construct them.

The minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat N.K. Bah, said government has provided the conducive environment for democracy to thrive, adding all political parties have a right to hold meetings anywhere in the country.

The Tourism Minister also urged all eligible Gambians to register for the next elections in January and vote massively for President Barrow. He also said that government is open to the idea of diaspora voting but argued that the process should not be selective and discriminatory, against Gambians living in the sub region.

Janjangbureh meeting

The chief of Janjangbureh, Bakary Jam Jawo, expressed delight for having the President in this historic settlement, adding that they have been following with keen interest the developments around the country. Other speakers including Kumba Dansiray, Hamidou Jallow and Fatou Jassey all appealed for the provision of skills centre for the youths and the rehabilitation of the rice fields which have largely fallen into disuse.

The minister of Agriculture, Amie Fabureh, in response to these appeals, said government has provided power tillers and fertiliser to women farmers and work has begun to improve the rice fields.

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