The handing over ceremony held at the Livestock complex in Abuko, was courtesy of Ministry of Agriculture with the support from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) BADEA and the government of the Gambia.
Fafanding S. Fatajo, the Regional Rice Value Chain Development (RRVCDP) project director said the project is meant to contribute to reducing the high importation of rice into the country, thereby enhancing economic growth through improved production, processing, and marketing of rice, and enhance private sector participation in the rice value chain.
The project, he added, would significantly increase production and productivity of rice as well as add new irrigated areas to existing ones to enable the country achieve its national rice production and commercialization strategies, enhance rice self-sufficiency and reduce significantly, rice importation.
RRVCDP Director said the project is supporting the National Seed Secretariat (NSS) in boosting its production and productivity to produce certified seeds for farmers which is line with component 1 of the project; raising rice production and productivity.
Fatou Jammeh Touray, deputy permanent secretary of Policy and Program at the Ministry Agriculture said the project’s intervention area includes Central River Region North and South and Upper River Region (URR) and the project has 4 components, which includes: (1) raising rice production and productivity; (2) agribusiness and market development; (3) policy and institutional support, and (4) project management and coordination.
“In in order to address this ceremony today, my remarks will be based on component 1, which focuses on the following: land improvement to enhance rice production and productivity and provision of machineries and equipment; those are tractors power-tillers and other inputs,” she said.
DPS Jammeh-Touray explained that the project would also support the production and improvements of seed varieties to ensure farmers receive quality seed by improving the capacity of the National Seed Secretariat.
“The project will improve the capacity of the NSS, their number of initiatives that are documented in this project; among them are the following: rehabilitation of one seed warehouse in Sapu, establishment and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities in two skills, provision of a tractor, provisions of fertilizers and other agrochemicals, provision and production of post-harvest equipment and provision of packaging materials for National Seed Secretariat (NSS).”
She challenged NSS to make good use of the equipment by supporting initiative and to help farmers with needed rice varieties.
She commended the donors, ISDV, BADEA and the government of The Gambia for their benevolent support to the project.
Morro Lamin Bah, the head of seed security at the National Seed Secretariat assured that the equipment will be used for its intended purposes for the well-being of the Gambian farmers and the country at large.