By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia Government through the Ministry of Agriculture has spent about D3 million on purchasing donkeys and horses distributed to Gambian farmers last year, a situational report on the D100 million supplementary budget fund to the ministry revealed.
The report, expected to be tabled at the National Assembly for consideration, highlighted how these funds were used following its allocation among 3 principal departments under the ministry; the Department of Agriculture, National Seed Secretariat and Department of Livestock Services.
The Department of Agriculture was allocated D60 million, Department of Livestock Services D20 million and National Seed Secretariat D20 million.
The report added that a total of 195 draught animals were purchased, including 30 horses and 165 donkeys by the Department of Agriculture.
It further disclosed that the 30 horses have been purchased for D1,200,000 while the165 donkeys were purchased for D 1, 790,250, making it a total of D2, 990,250.
The Department of Agriculture argued in the report that it has engaged farmers nationwide and sought their opinion on what types of agricultural machinery they need to boost crop production.
It added that the animals were provided to communities upon requests to “boost the production capacity of under privileged rural farmers.”
Agric minister, Amie Fabureh has said during the president’s meet the people tour last December that contrary to claims that the animals are not meant for purpose, they are very important to communities in the region.
Fabureh reportedly added that the president knows nothing about these animals, saying it was the making of her Ministry and National Assembly.