Saturday, September 26, 2020

Agric. Ministry to Purchase 50 Tractors For Farmers Amid the Rainy Season

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By Momodou Jarju

Fifty tractors will be purchased to help farmers in the forthcoming rainy season, the minister of Agriculture, Mrs. Amie Fabureh, informed the national assembly members on Wednesday in Banjul.

Minister Fabureh made the remarks while responding to the question raised by Lower Fulladu West lawmaker, Alhagie Darboe, during the second ordinary session of the assembly for the 2020 legislative year.

“The procurement process is ongoing and we are {hoping} to secure the 50 tractors and accessories before the rainy season starts,” she said.

Minister Fabureh said they have planned to set up a farm agriculture mechanization scheme, to increase framers accessibility to the mechanization services they would provide.

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On the sustainability of the farm equipment, Fabureh said her ministry plans to set up a training center for both agricultural mechanics and machine operators in the near future.

“This will go a long way in tackling the perennial problem of machines, not outliving their useful lives,” Fabureh said.

She added that some mixed farming centres across the country will be used for the aforesaid mechanization scheme.

Minister Fabureh also said they are not buying tractors for individuals, but they are going to standardize the cost of hiring the 50 tractors so that poor farmers would be able to have access to them.

Asked how soon the farmers can receive the tractors, owing to the fact that the rainy season has already begun, Minister Fabureh, said the process has started and the signing has been done and they are waiting for the supply of the tractors.

“We also want to engage the private sector because we want these tractors to be pure business so that at least we can generate more funds and buy more tractors. That’s our aim,” she said.

On Rehabilitation

Minister Fabureh informed the lawmakers that the Gambia Government through her-line ministry has begun rehabilitating twenty-seven (27) mixed-farming centres across the country.

She said out of the 27 mixed-farming centres across the country, six have been rehabilitated, another six are undergoing rehabilitation and the remaining centres would follow suit thereafter.

Fabureh said rehabilitation of mixed farming centres across the country is part of her ministry’s top priorities.

On the anticipated food shortage, Minister Fabureh said her ministry has put in place plans to address the anticipated food shortage by developing an emergency response plan in collaboration with World Food Programme (WFP) on food assistance based on the food needs in metric tons which can be delivered in kind or in cash to an estimated 22, 073 highly vulnerable households and the estimated 66, 499 marginally food insecure households.

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