State House Director of Press, Amie Bojang Sissoho, announced Wednesday a major project that would pave the way for the mechanisation of agriculture sector and boost productivity.
“President Barrow continues to promote his govt policy to transform the sector from rudimentary to mechanised farming,” she told reporters at a news conference held at the Presidency in Banjul.
Agriculture is one of the leading sectors of the country’s economy, contributing 30 percent of the country’s GDP. In its blue print for growth, Gambia government outlined its objectives to promote agro-business and agro processing.
The Presidency spokesperson further stated that the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation is on the verge of procuring 7,500 metric tons of fertilizer for 2019-20 rainy season.
She then added: “With support from Japan, an extra 600 tons of fertilizer, 30 tons of assorted seeds will be available to farmers this year.”
Increased production and productivity have always been a major hurdle for farmers who were accustomed to subsistence agriculture.
Far from doing things by halves, Amie Bojang Sissoho revealed that Gambia gov’t will provide support to corperative groups, farmers association and clusters communities in 11 districts from the Upper River Region (URR), Central River Region (CRR), North Bank and the Lower River Region (LRR).
These groups, she went on, will benefit from 260 agricultural equipments (milling machines, power tillers accessories, pumping machines and five foot twenty container freezers).
These equipments, she went on, will be provided through the ministry of agriculture as part of the Japanese support.
In an attempt to encourage farmers to make thei own seed bank, State House Director of Press said the Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with FAO, through EU funding, will procure certified seeds from Gambian seed growers.
“In addition, over 11,000 households indentified in URR, CRR, North and South, LRR and North Bank will be given FAO procured seeds and fertilizers,” she disclosed.