By Lamin Fatty
The National Assembly Select Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday 22nd October 2020, toured project sites in Upper River Region (URR).
The Select Committee visited the five project sites of Sotuma Sambakoi, Sinchu Musa, Sabi / Manpatayel, Sutukonding and Sare Alpha. The sites visited are rice fields, livestock and ram fattening areas and women gardens and boreholes in Wuli West and Tumanna Districts respectively.
Mamadou S. Ceesay, the Chairperson of the Committee and Member for Janjangbureh, highlighted the purpose of their visit to some of the project sites within the Region.
‘‘The Select Committee is here today to assess some of the projects under the Ministry of Agriculture and how the Department of Agriculture is functioning in its dealings with the rural people. This is all geared towards bringing back the glorious days of agriculture as it used to be, in this country. Basically, we are performing our oversight function for the Ministry and Department of Agriculture, and its projects,’’ Ceesay said; that his Committee was impressed with the performance of the projects visited.
If readers can recall, Deputies appealed during last year’s budget session for an increase in budget allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture, which was approved. According to the Maputo Declaration, Agriculture should be given 10% of a State’s national GDP while the Ministry of Agriculture is given only 1.7% of the nation’s GDP. This is not meaningful if Government wants to develop agriculture.
Ceesay urged Government to provide more allocations for the Agriculture Ministry’s budget.