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Agricultural Fielday

The permanent secretary number 2 at the Ministry of Agriculture Mr Sheriffo Bojang,

 underscored the importance of growing Early Maturing crops in enhancing the achievement of the 2016 vision which aims at food self-sufficiency throughout the country. Permanent Secretary Bojang was addressing farmers and extension officers during a Fielday recently organized by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the West African Agricultural Production and Productivity (WAAPP) Project at the Chamen Seed Multiplication and Training Centre in the North Bank Region and Garawol in Upper River Region. In Chamen after the tour of a 12 hectare maize field, he emphasized the need for both staff and farmers to explore the potential yields of Early Maturing Crops following the erratic rainfall pattern experienced in the Sahel countries and the Gambia in particular in recent years. He noted the achievement of a very good yield from this field even though it was planted as late as August 14 which would not have been possible if it were the traditional late maturing maize varieties.

For his part, the Director General of Agriculture Mr. Ousman Jammeh in Garawol during the visit of a 4 hectare block rice field, reiterated the need for the collective effort of all and sundry towards the cultivation of all major food crops especially rice in other to achieve His Excellency The President’s clarion call for the attainment of food self sufficiency in 2016. He highlighted the potential yields of rice under upland conditions if the right varieties are chosen for cultivation. He therefore called on extension officers to promote the cultivation of rice in the upland in areas that lack lowland ecologies which are the usual areas for rice production.

In addressing participants in both venues, Professor Wale a special adviser to His Excellency The President on the attainment of the vision 2016 initiatives, highlighted his zeal and determination in the achievement of food self sufficiency throughout the country. He however emphasized that this could only materialize if the cooperation and determination of all Gambians are achieved. He noted that the potentials for the achievement of this noble cause in terms of human resources and land area are there and what is left is how best to harness these resources to exploit the potentials for its achievement.

Farmers for their part in both areas were unanimous in their call for the timely access to plowing services, seeds and fertilizers. They noted that many a times, they access these things lately usually accompanied by prices that are difficult for them to afford. They however assured their willingness and support to the President’s call for the 2016 vision of food self sufficiency noting that the achievement of this vision will not benefit anybody more than them. They therefore pledge their unflinching support to the initiative to not even The Gambia to become Food Self Sufficient, but to be a major rice exporter to the West African sub-region and beyond.   

DATE:   20THOctober 2014

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