The ambassador of the Republic of China on Friday the 5th of June 2020, handed over Agricultural equipment to the ministry of Agriculture at Bakau. This initiative called the "China Aid" is geared towards mechanizing the Agricultural Rice Production System in the Gambia. The equipment donated includes 30 pieces of power tillers, 30 mini threshers, 25 irrigation pumps, 31 rice mills , a trans-planter, a combine harvester, 10 tons of urea fertilizer, lubricants and other spare parts. The ceremony was hosted by the department of agriculture and was attended by several dignitaries including the Honorable minister of agriculture, The minister of foreign affairs Momadou Tangara and The country director, World Food Program (WFP), Madam wanja.
Opening the ceremony, the Ambassador of the Republic of China, Ma Jianchun stated that since the outbreak of the covid 19 pandemic , China has been supporting the Gambia in providing medicines and exchanging of vital information. He said, the Republic of China has always been standing in solidarity with the Gambia in keeping their bilateral relation strong in Agriculture and other economic activities. He noted that, the republic of China has been faced with several challenges during the cause of the covid 19 pandemic which has caused loss in their Gross rate dropping to 6.8 percent affecting their economy in both Agriculture and Tourism . He further stated that the equipments donated are supposed to help in mechanizing the rice production in the Gambia. He acknowledged the effort of Mr Musa Darboe, the CEO of Maruo farm in CRR for his tremendous hard works in improving rice production in the Gambia.
Speaking at the ceremony, Honorable minister of Agriculture, Madam Amie Fabureh in her key note address stated the role women play in rice production, vegetable gardening and other agricultural activities. She said "Agriculture employs 70% of the population, half of which are women". Hence the equipments donated will no doubt enhance production in key areas as stated in the National Agricultural plan. According to her, the equipments will help in post harvest losses which the country has been facing lately. She thanked the republic of China for their kind gesture and assured that the equipment will be put to good use.
The Director General department of agriculture, Dr saikou sanyang, said the manner in which the equipments will be distributed is yet to be put in place but it shall be done as expected. He further stated that these inputs will benefit the Agricultural sector and the nation at large in making rice production easier.
He thanked the Republic of China for their benevolence and steadfastness in keeping the bilateral relation between the Republic of The Gambia and china.
The handing over ceremony was graced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Gambia, Mr. Momadou Tangara who signed on behalf of the Republic of the Gambia.
By Sally MB Darboe