By Yankuba Jallow
The Ministry of Agriculture, on Monday August 21 2017, handed over 213 farm implements to the farming community. The handing over ceremony was held at Banjulinding. The implements according to stakeholders, are very effective for year round farming and will help farmers in their next year’s farm preparations.
The farm implements that were handed over include 36 seeders, 167 Sine Hoes, 8 Motorise seeders and 2 Threshers. The farm implements were made in the Gambia by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).
The Directors of NARI, Livestock, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and the Hon Minister of Agriculture amongst others, were present to grace the handing over of the farm implements.
The implements according to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Omar A. Jallow, will help the farmers effectively on their farms and will promote commercial farming. He added that this partnership between GTTI and NARI, is a sign that Gambians can make their own farm implements and equipment that can enhance the output of agricultural workers, particularly the rural farmers; that with the advice from his technicians, the seeders will be given to mixed farm centres and one will be given to the Agriculture Division of the Gambia College to help them improve the training of the students in Brikama. He said for the two threshers, the Ministry will identify the main producers of rice and they will give it to the farming communities that are going to utilise it for the benefit of the growers of rice. He advised farmers to attach a small token of fee to the implements in order for its up keep and maintenance. The donation was fully funded by the Gambia government without any external aid. “As for the sine hoes, we will give them to the farmers free of charge” he said.
He said as a Ministry, they have a vision of transforming the country’s agriculture. He added that his Ministry has recently disseminated 30 tonnes of groundnut seeds to farmers across the country. He added that those seeds are viable and were certified by NARI and the Seeds Secretariat, to increase the level of production and improvement in the quality of their produce.