By Kebba Mamburay
Amie Bojang Sissoho, Director of Press Wednesday revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the National Food Security, Processing and Marketing Cooperation is procuring a total of 7,500 metric tonnes of fertilizer this year.
This, she said, is also coupled with the support from Japan of an extra 600 tonnes of fertiliser and 30 tonnes of assorted seeds to be made available to farmers. “Cooperative groups, farmer associations and cluster communities in eleven districts from the URR, CRR, NBR and LRR will benefit from 260 pieces of agricultural equipment, ranging from rice milling machines, power tillers, accessories, pumping machines and five 20-foot container freezers,” she added.
Madam Sissoho said this will be provided through the Ministry of Agriculture as part of the Japanese support along with the agriculture value chain development project and the national agricultural land management and development project.
She said in order to encourage and empower farmers to have their own seeds, the ministry of agriculture in partnership with FAO through European Union funding, will procure certified seeds from Gambian seed growers. According to her 56% of groundnut seeds, 71% of maize seeds and 100% of “findi” seeds needed are available this year. In addition, she said over eleven thousand households identified in the URR, CRR, NBR and LRR will be given FAO procured seeds. Out of these, 25% of these households are Female headed and 75% are male headed who are in need of input support for 2019-2020 rainy season. In another development, the director of press disclosed that the president has been briefed on discussions to create jobs for the youth through agriculture. 3,000 hectares of land has been identified for rice cultivation and poultry farming in the Nianija District of the CRR North.
The Press Director at the second press conference this year held at Statehouse on Wednesday 22, May 2019, highlighted the engagements of the President and issues she had been informed about.
Among other issues disclosed by the Press Director is Finance &Economy, health, human rights, etc.
Finance and Economy
An economic council under the office of the president has been set up to provide regular updates to the president on the macro-economic situation of the country. It has been asserted that while the economic outlook is promising, the prices of basic commodities continue to be affected by world prices.
According to Mrs. Sissoho, the reform programmes are meant to be modernized and sustainabed in an atmosphere that is conducive to the participation of all citizens.
On The Security Sector Reform
President Barrow, according to Mrs. Sissoho, has assigned the Ministry of justice to coordinate the activities of national security steering committee. Meanwhile, a national security sector policy has been prepared and is due to be launched in June this year.
On Land Administration
A task force comprising representatives from the governor’s office in the West Coast Region and the Ministries of the Interior, Justice and Lands has reported calm in the land dispute between Gunjur and Berending.
On The Civil Service Reform
The Office of the President led a retreat with heads of subvented institutions to create better delivery of services. Policy issues to improve impact and functional institutions were discussed to avoid duplication and minimize wastage.
Energy and Petroleum
BP British Petroleum signed an offshore petroleum licence. The president has been informed that BP will be provided with exclusive right to drill and explore prospect in offshore Block A1.
In an interface between the cabinet led by President Barrow and the Constitutional Review Commission in addition to that, a written contribution will be submitted to the CRC for consideration from the executive.
Also, the department of strategic policy delivery at the office of the president presented to cabinet its strategy to collaborate, coordinate and unblock blockages in the delivery of services on the presidential priorities of the NDP. She further stated that the department will also support the presidency on evidence-based decision making, using data and fax.
She said the president has been briefed about the ongoing consultations with the Qatari charity foundation to support the government build a hospital in the greater Banjul area in line with making professional health care services accessible to the people. On upcoming engagements of the president, President Barrow will attend the 14th Session of the OIC summit schedule for the 30th may to 1st of June in Saudi Arabia.
By Kebba Mamburay