Mr Ousainou Darboe of the main opposition UDP, in a newspaper interview recently, expressed doubt over the attainability of rice sufficiency for The Gambia in two years.
Speaking before deputies last Thursday during the adjournment debate, Mr Njie said: “Darboe’s patriotism needs to be questioned because every genuine Gambian should support the idea of achieving food security. A few weeks ago, he was speaking in an interview where he questioned the achievability of Vision 2016. He said it’s not feasible. But this is not what I expected from him. I expected him to come forward and give Gambian people suggestions. I expected him to say the two-year timeline is even too long and that it is a matter of putting in the right resources. I think every genuine Gambian should greet this great idea with passion and not ridicule. We have to be genuine as Gambians and put our hands on deck because Vision 2016 is achievable. This will allow The Gambia to become… a net exporter of rice.”
He continued: “The government wants to cut spending by abolishing the more than 800 million dalasis that the country spends on importing rice annually. The vision of President Jammeh’s leadership to boost agriculture will provoke more growth and development. President Jammeh has consulted prominent technicians and experts to make sure that we achieve Vision 2016. His support for young people is backed by the fact that they are the productive citizens of this country. This is why investment in young people has been critical. There is also need for attitudinal change in them which will allow making informed choices and exploring opportunities that will lead to the development of this country. As representatives of the people, we believe in Vision 2016 and we will continue to support the president and young people.”
By Lamin Baba Njie]]>