More development plans for vision 2016 interventions sites
- As ‘Dialogue’ tour progresses to URR
Engagements resumed on Saturday, as tour had a break on Friday, 25th April 2014, which was marked by a wrestling entertainment.
The 2014 ‘Dialogue with the people’ tour has been progressing with both intensity and tact, as a number of identified rice production project sites for the Vision 2016 rice self-sufficiency scheme fall to the surveillance and assessment radar of His Excellency the President and his team of experts.
The latest trips were to the rice fields in Garawol, Suduwol and a youth wing agriculture centre in Kundan, in the Upper River Region.
During a visit to Garawol on Saturday, day 10 of the tour, the agric team of experts that form part of the tour entourage, observed that the 750-hectare rice field is well placed and comparatively require less capital expenditure on the part of government. Only 15 of the 750 hectares are being cultivated in small holder farming by the villagers through tidal irrigation.
Commenting about the farm, President Jammeh described the site as a “soft target”, as it demands less input; preventing salt intrusion or levelling the land. The farm is near fresh water – the Simoto Bolong – and all that needs to be done is to allow for access to water point, which remained a major constraint. The President called for a huge, steep canal to be dug from the water point at the river right across the farm, to the end – near Suduwol, to serve as a primary reservoir while a supplementary one will also be dug to ensure effective water supply.
While government would assist the small holder farmers with inputs and technical assistance, it would develop the uncultivated part, in the efforts towards the realisation of the Vision 2016.
President Jammeh promised that 15 tractors would be provided to the villagers to till the farm.
The Kundan youth farm
The Kundan agriculture centre is being managed by the APRC youth wing, that do not only cultivate but also process the produce into jam, such as the tomato and hot pepper sauce. The farm also has a bakery and sells the jam with bread.
Impressed by the initiative, the President donated hundred thousand Dalasi (D100, 000) to the centre, bought the glasses of pepper and tomato jams and the bread that were on display for the President. He called for proper construction of the bakery.
In what seemed like both an expedition and an adventure, the tour team, led by an agile and ever-enthusiastic leadership in President Jammeh, went on climbing some tallest Gambian hills around the tip of the country, in an effort to confirm among others some historical facts. The village of Fatoto proved to be very rich with colonial and western explorers’ history, as remnants of centuries’ buildings and structures of the explorers could be seen in and around the village. It was one of these historical links that took the team to the top of one of the tallest hills – apparently to confirm a purported well used by the villagers of Fatoto during the times of water crises.Fatoto hill climbing experience
Report by Madiba Sillah and Aji Fatou Jammeh
Courtesy of Department of Information Services