The motorcycles were procured through the World Bank-funded project dubbed “GIRAV” which aims at supporting the extension service of DoA to facilitate their extension delivery, undertaking routine and effective monitoring of project activities. The motorcycles would also help DoA in the implementation of the E-Extension policy.
Dr. Demba Sabally, Minister of Agriculture stated that, since its inception, the GIRAV project has provided significant assistance to farmers and key partners. He added that in June 2022, the project procured and distributed an assortment of 250 metric tons of certified rice and maize seeds to more than 12, 500 smallholder farmers across the country.
“I challenge the CPCU and partners including the regional directorates of agriculture to remain committed to the project development objective by keeping on working hard to deliver the project outcomes effectively and ensure the project’s footprints remain visible for years,” he stated.
Minister Sabally revealed that, the project is providing matching grants to women and youth-led enterprises, in partnership with selected financial institutions for the objective of increased access to finance. He added that at the conclusion of the review and selection process, an initial batch of 300 individual enterprises, 60 group enterprises and 10 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be supported with start-up capital, business plan preparation and follow-up coaching and mentorship.
Abdoulie Touray, CPCU coordinator explained that there was an extension policy developed and supported by the FAO which is piloted in North Bank Region and Central River Region North, saying part of that policy is to digitalise extension.
“We purchased 100 tablets to facilitate the data collection. The motorcycles are provided to all agricultural regions to enhance, supervise, monitor and collect project activities,” he explained.
Dr. Saikou E. Sanyang, director general of DoA said the project had trained more than 60 extension workers and regional directors on digitalisation for the registration of farmers.
“The materials will go a long way in improving the quality of the extension delivery system, and appropriate agricultural technologies will reach the farmers on a timely basis,” he added.