As part of his continuation of agriculture establishment tour, the Minister of Agriculture, Omar Jallow, recently visited the Sukuta Women’s Garden, Sukuta Market and the Mango Processing Plants at Jimpex.
The aim was to get firsthand information and meet with the women horticultural gardeners and discuss issues affecting their productions with them as well as to see how to enhance their agricultural production and productivity.
During his meeting with the women, they lamented the lack of materials, water among others.
However, they praised FASDEP for fencing the garden, which the women described as a wonderful move.
In responding to their needs, the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Amadou Jallow, pledged to the Sukuta women gardeners that they would provide them with two power tillers to boost their efforts in the garden.
He expressed delight to the women for their hard work, saying that he constructed the garden when he was the Minister during Jawara’s time.
He also assured them of the new government’s support to Gambians, especially women and youth, while praising them for their commitment toward the garden, which was key in improving their livelihood.
Minister Jallow urged the Sukuta women to redouble their efforts in horticultural gardening while also calling on the men folk to participate more in horticultural gardens.
He commented on the importance of diversifying livestock and crop in community, saying that at the level of his ministry they target to give out thirty rams to certain group of people for fattening in order to support themselves.
Minister Jallow said his ministry’s decision to reinvent some of the agric sectors which were dormant over the past 22-years is a clear indication that they are determined to change the status quo.
“It is time for change. We don’t only need to respond to long-standing issues and challenges, but we must also face newer realities,” he said.
The Government of The Gambia, he said is committed to becoming self-sufficient in food through their proposed agricultural transformation to increase productivity in the sector.
“But, for us to achieve these there should be strong frameworks for collaboration and mutual accountability between the government, private sector, development partners and others. We must also get into agriculture and see it as a profitable business venture not a sign of lacking ambition,” he said.
He said the tour is meant to give him first hand information on the various sectors under his purview.
While reassuring the women gardeners of his ministry’s unflinching support, minister Jallow said the new government and his ministry will have total shift of paradigm to that of their predecessors.
He said under his leadership the ministry will continue to put women at the heart of their intervention agendas.
“We will give women all the support they need whenever necessary, because wherever I go, the only people I see in the work force are women. But, I believe it is high time for the men to also tide their belt,” he explained.
Minister Jallow also promised to immediately give two power tillers to the Sukuta women gardeners as they requested and reassured them that there will be much more to follow.
The Minister also commended FASDEP for their support to the women’s garden and the market.
He promised the Women Federation that his ministry would assist them with storage and freezing facilities to be able to preserve some of the products sold at the market.
For his part, Kebba Jarju, the Director of FASDEP assured the women of Sukuta garden that they would communicate with the Department of Water Resources to ensure that the issue of water is addressed in the garden.
He said the ministry through his department will exhaust all measures to ensure that farmer’s needs are provided at the right time.