Barrow’s second term targets rice self-sufficiency, food security

Jan 24, 2022, 11:08 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

During his inaugural speech for a second term as the President of The Gambia, President Adama Barrow revealed that the target for his new government is rice self-sufficiency and food security for all. 

To maintain this, he added that his government would open up industries, upgrade the country’s technology status, and process our produce, while creating jobs in the country.

“Relatedly, the number of people trained, facilities constructed and other significant achievements in the education sector are correspondingly matched by the tremendous strengthening of the health sector through record investments.”

President Barrow further told thousands of Gambians at the Independence Stadium that the community ambulances distributed recently were well received country-wide, adding that the health centres were upgraded, new facilities provided in areas that, until now, were considered remote and deprived, have also gone down very well across the country. He added that all these make his government bolder to set much higher targets for the next five years.

“The level of economic growth realised during these trying years and the economic measures adopted have helped to put the country in a viable position to generate national income to fund major projects without seeking support elsewhere.”

The National People’s Party (NPP) leader continued that the economy, businesses, and livelihoods must be protected further and reinforced to result in better development trends and maintain a productive and peaceful population.

By December 2021, he said, 60% of the 2018-2021 National Development Plan (NDP) activities were either successfully conducted or on track for completion, while adding that out of the pledges made in Brussels, 41.9% has been disbursed so far.

“Following the expiry of Vision 2020, the development of a new long-term development plan, Vision 2050, is in progress. The new Vision will take on board the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Agenda 2063, and the country’s long-term climate change vision and strategy.Our future plans include the formulation of a Green Recovery Focused NDP, 2023-2027 to succeed the 2018-2021 NDP.”

To boost the income generating sectors and institutions, such as tourism and fisheries, President Barrow emphasised that the potential for growth must be tapped optimally to support new development initiatives.

Barrow reiterated that it is certain that efforts would be wasted in the absence of peace, security and stability. For this reason, he added that the Ministry of Defence and The Gambia Armed Forces were restructured lately as part of the reforms to raise their efficiency levels.

“As part of these ongoing security sector reforms, we now have a National Security Policy, National Security Strategy, Security Sector Reform Strategy and a Defence Policy. These policies and strategies are meant to consolidate the gains registered as a result of the Security Sector Reform.”