President Jammeh made the comment yesterday evening after formally receiving the ‘Fighting Hunger Award’ by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in recognition of the country’s strides as one of thirteen countries to have moved closer to eradicating hunger.
He said: “We can kill two birds with one stone… eradicate hunger and eradicate poverty. But for us to be able to eradicate poverty, the young people of this country and the men have to go to the farm. I am grateful to the women of this country especially the women of Central River Region, Lower River Region and Upper River Region. I once again pledge to eradicate hunger in this country by 2016 and to eradicate poverty by 2020. This is because that is what Vision 2020 is all about. Poverty that is beyond one’s control we cannot assist, but my dream is, even people we call the disabled will no longer beg in the street but will be running offices and have their own cars. Coming back to eradicating hunger by 2016, I mean it because I have the Gambian women to support me. I am grateful to the Almighty Allah for this day. I am grateful because He has given me Gambian women. If it were not the Gambian women from 1994 to date, this country would have been starving. I want to thank the FAO director general because FAO has been at the vanguard of food self-sufficiency in Africa”
Earlier, Vice President, Isatou Njie-Saidy, who was recently in Rome, Italy, to receive the award on behalf of the president, commented: “I am indeed honoured with great humility to be part of this auspicious occasion and to hand over this special award relating to our achievement of the United Nations MDG 1C on hunger – to reduce by 2015, at least half, the proportion of people living in the country suffering from undernourishment, to the president. This surely is a well-deserved and earned award. As part of his food security drive from 1994 to date, the president has left no stone unturned to eliminate food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition and undernourishment in society. It is indeed apt for Gambians to promote sustainable agriculture. This will not only make the economy more vibrant but it will ensure our dignity and independence as a nation and as a people.”
Other speakers were the representative of the FAO in The Gambia and the minister of agriculture. The event was graced by cabinet ministers, diplomats, senior government officials, national assembly members, and a cross-section of Gambians.]]>