By Omar Bah
The Minister of Agriculture, Omar Jallow, has said that his ministry and the government will exhaust all measures to make the agricultural sector great again.
Speaking to women gardeners on Wednesday at Sukuta during his ministry’s tour to the FASDEP intervention sites and other agricultural related areas, Minister Jallow said his ministry is committed to ensuring that agriculture regains its status as one of the driving forces of the country’s economy.
“The sector remains the mainstay of the country’s economy where 70% of our population are actively engaged, thereby contributing 30% of the GDP,” he said.
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.
He said the government 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.
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 men tighten their belt.”
Minister Jallow also promised to immediately give two power tillers to the Sukuta women gardeners.
Meanwhile, the minister also visited the multi-million dalasi state-of-the-art Sukuta market to do the official handing-over to two Gambian contractors under the funding of FASDEP.