By: Dawda Baldeh and Alieu Jallow
President Adama Barrow emphasized action and development over endless discussions during a ceremony where he presided over the launch of the Accessible Smart Farming Project. He underscored the significance of collective efforts for the country’s progress, urging Gambians to shift their focus from talking to taking action, stating, “Gambians should focus on action rather than endless talks. I am appealing to all of you to stop the talking and work. It is what will benefit all of us.”
President Barrow also reaffirmed his government’s commitment to revamping the agricultural sector, aligning it with their policy agendas. He welcomed the Smart Farm initiative and urged collaboration between the initiative and the Ministry of Agriculture to bolster food security in the country.
The President emphasized the urgency of implementing these plans, emphasizing the importance of achieving self-sufficiency in food production. He pointed out the vulnerabilities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic when countries were heavily reliant on international food industries, which disrupted supply chains. President Barrow called for the attainment and maintenance of food sovereignty to ensure the nation’s independence and integrity.
He viewed the project’s inauguration as evidence of his government’s dedication to addressing global challenges. The President highlighted the significance of digital technology in the agricultural sector and the necessity of partnerships that align with the needs of the people and offer mutual benefits. Additionally, he stressed the importance of inclusive and multifaceted projects to tackle the growing challenges faced by the country’s youthful population.
Representing the company Times Trading International Partners from the Netherlands, Auto Trading Africa, Emerging Markets Africa, Team Michael Tjim expressed their commitment to helping the Gambia improve its soils, agricultural production, and post-harvest management. They stated, “We are convinced that a well-functioning agriculture sector will bring prosperity and positively impact the lives of every individual Gambian citizen.”
Muhammed Njie, Managing Director of the National Food Security, Processing & Marketing Corporation (NFSPMC), welcomed the initiative and expressed optimism that it would enhance food security and job creation in the country. He highlighted the project’s aim to implement modern farming techniques in approximately forty-five communities, aligning with various sustainable goals, including zero hunger, poverty reduction, and climate action, while contributing to the country’s economy and resilience.
The initiative will utilize solar-powered irrigation systems to modify and promote agricultural production, increasing productivity and profitability for farmers and ensuring food self-sufficiency.