President Jammeh: Growing one type of crop can be risky

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President Jammeh: Growing one type of crop can be risky

27th April 2014

The President, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh has emphasised the need for Gambia to diversify crop production, describing dependence on one type of crop as risky. He was speaking in Basse in the Upper River Region during a big meeting on Sunday – day 11 of the Dialogue with the People Tour.

The Gambian leader pointed out that the 2016 food self-sufficiency vision is not only about rice self-sufficiency, though is the main objective, but that it is also about diversifying our crop production for both change of diet and averting the risk of running out of food stock. He therefore asked for the large scale cultivation of cereal crops like maize, coos, millet and ‘Findi’.

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“For export, I am talking about rice production but for self-feeding, other cereal crops can be grown”. 

He recalled that in the past, rice cultivation was thought of being women’s domain. This he said should remain in the past, for Vision 2016 rice self-sufficiency drive is here to make both men and women work equally and together in the rice and other crop fields to the realisation of the vision.

President Jammeh recognized that Upper River Region is notable for groundnut production but emphasised the need for them to diversify and grow other food crops such as rice, as part of the national efforts to put hunger at bay and the importation of rice into the country. He expressed the potential of CRR and URR to feed the whole world if right attitude is put to the implementation of the 2016 vision.

He explained that the in the fulfillment of the vision, government projects would be divided into three components: for youths, women and government.

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The Gambian leader took the opportunity to profoundly thank the people of Basse and the satellite communities of Garawol, and Suduwol for their record welcoming of his tour delegation, saying their reception has always been second to none since 1994.

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Further in the meeting, the President promised to build a road that links Basse to Koina and a bridge between Nyakoi and Wuli.

He finally denounced the illegal journey to Europe through the high seas in rickety boats, vowing that anyone who uses his name for wrong reasons just to get papers would suffer the retribution by Allah’s will. He said this with the understanding that some find their way through the back way to Europe and claim to have been persecuted by the President either on tribal grounds or because of his vehement detestation of homosexuality, for those who would claim to be, just for the papers.

Momodou Sabally, the Secretary General, Minister of Presidential Affairs and the Civil Service, reiterating policies towards the attainment of the rice self-sufficiency vision, informed that the National Food Security Cooperation to be established, will advise the policy directives and the implementation process through the commission to be set. He also revealed that a project unit will be set up at the Office of the President to enhance and manage the smooth running of the food self-sufficiency projects.

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Sabally called on the people of URR to embrace the vision, just as the way they demonstrated their love to the President in their record welcoming.

He finally called on the youth to be very much involved, while commending the youth wing farm initiative in Kundan for their daring initiative.

Taking on the question of youth commitment and participation in farming was Mawdou Sey, the regional youth coordinator for URR. He revealed that the URR youths have district farms that they are very much involved in, in fulfillment of the Vision 2016.

Mr Sey seized the opportunity to assure of the URR youth’s resolve to protect the image of the country against dissidents who try to instigate instability while they remain outside the country.

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He finally hailed the efforts of the security personnel posted to the region for their cooperation and maintenance of peace and instability in the area.

Report by Madiba Sillah and Aji Fatou Jammeh
Courtesy of Department of Information Services

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