Gambia Women Farmers Urged to Maintain Lead Role in Agriculture


Women farmers in rural Gambia have again been urged by the national women mobiliser of the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) to take a lead role in the country’s food security drive and support the ‘Vision 2016 food self-sufficiency agenda’ of President Jammeh and his government.

The call was reiterated by Isatou Jiffanga Jarju, who, accompanied by a high-powered delegation has begun an eight-day nationwide tour meant to reinforce President Jammeh’s food security call and to engage women farmers to ensure their successful participation in this anti-hunger drive.

The initiative, which was sold out to Gambians during the 2014 presidential tour, seeks to stop the country’s decades-long dependency on imported food, with a first priority on rice.

President Jammeh, it would be recalled, first made the pronouncement in his 2013 ‘Dialogue with the people tour’ and used the initiative as his agenda for the 2014 tour.

Speaking at a meeting in Kerewan, the administrative town of the North Bank Region (NBR), Women Mobiliser Jarju expressed hope that the V-2016 targets will be met, but hastened to enjoin women to take the lead in its implementation.

“Since 1994, the Gambian leader has been calling on Gambians to consume what is grown locally, but many people did not understand at that time. Many of the skeptics who thought that President Jammeh’s targets will not be attained are now convinced that if people go back to the land, the country can feed itself. What we have never thought of since 1994 is what we are about to see in The Gambia’s development,” she told the women. Mobiliser Jarju also challenged the party women mobilisers at all levels to always be the first to respond to President Jammeh’s calls, urging them to engage their colleagues at the grassroots so that they can effectively participate in the food security drive.

“President Jammeh has sympathy for Gambian women and now it is our turn to reciprocate that gesture by working with him to achieve the Vision 2016. Let us work to be food independent,” she challenged.

She called on the women folk to continue being proactive in whatever they are doing, saying they have earned the respect and admiration of the head of state.

The deputy national women mobiliser, Fatou Njie-Fofana, said the country is blessed with arable lands that can be cultivated to feed the entire population. She pledged women’s total support to all endeavours of the head of state, noting that they are ready to actualise the Vision 2016 initiative. “Let us all work with Isatou and accomplish President Jammeh’s vision. Let us change our attitudes, the president trusts us and we should also do our part to make sure his targets are attained,” she said.

The president of the West Coast Region chapter of the National Women Federation, Aja Binta Sabally and Ida Faye of Sabach Sanjal, both agreed that President Jammeh has done his part in terms of providing farming equipment, seeds and fertilizer to Gambians, arguing that it is now the turn of the citizens to do their part.

Njambeh Njie and Isatou Jallow, Lower Baddibou women councilor and mobiliser respectively, both commended the national women mobiliser for the visit, saying it will offer women the opportunity to dialogue among themselves. They pledged that women of Lower Baddibou and the entire North Bank Region will always support the president in the successful attainment of his vision 2016 target.

They however appealed to the mobiliser to ensure that any project that comes for women is handled and implemented by women themselves. “For far too long, projects will come in the name of women and they will be implemented by men and this made us to benefit very little,” they said.

© allAfrica.com (Source)