Barrow launches first-ever Smart Farming project
President Adama Barrow on Friday officially launched the first-ever Smart Farming project of the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation (NFSPMC) in partnership with TIJMS Trading International BV.
The groundbreaking project launching was held at the July 22nd Square in Banjul as the first of its kind since independence in 1965. The introduction of the smart farming project is aimed at decreasing in youth unemployment – which is seen as a bold step towards food self-sufficiency, to contribute to increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign exchange earnings.
The project is aimed at delving further into the agricultural production value-chain in order to guarantee quality and quantity of produce from the grassroots.
It is also aimed to compete with international traders in a fast evolving industry with the urgent need to reinvent locally processes, develop value-additional in the Gambia’s products and build the right network to market those products at an optional level.
Speaking at the occasion, President Barrow described the occasion as a fulfilment of his solemn oath to the Gambian people.
“In my last inaugural address, I made a solemn and sincere oath to the Gambian nation. After five years as President, my understanding of the challenges of our people and the operations of the state prepared me immensely to work towards fulfilling my promises to the people.”
He added: “My oath and the address that followed resulted from thorough reflection and assessment of my government’s achievements and shortcomings during my first term in office.”
“Weighing on my commitments as head of state, I have since resolved that my administration, in fulfilment of its mandate, must strive to do its utmost to seek support and harness the resources at our disposal for the attainment of our national vision and commitments.”
“Whilst our development strides are guided by the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, my government understands that we must, as a country, focus our development agenda on our local context,” he advanced.
“To contextualise our development efforts and enhance popular participation, we developed the 2018-2021 National Development Plan, which has been succeeded by the current Green Recovery Focused National Development Plan. These plans feed neatly into our long-term Vision 2050,” he noted.
However, President Barrow pointed out that the developments at NFSPMC testify to what he said can be achieved with robust and strategic management, supported by visionary leadership at the government level.
He said that developing the sectors requires combined institutional efforts, with a focus on the expectations of the people, while looking forward to the successful implementation of the project as it would provide the necessary blueprint for the attainment of food sovereignty.
Barrow applauded TIJMS Trading International for their partnership, promising that his government will give all the support it could muster to ensure that this initiative succeeds in benefiting the parties involved.
He concluded that “with unity and such support, The Gambia would eventually become a beacon of hope and glory. We can demonstrate how a nation can achieve great things when a people stand together under one unified vision: Unified in Purpose, Unified in Strength, and Unified in Development.”
For his part, Muhammed Njie, the managing director of the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation, said the Smart Farming involves a fully functional smart farming concept for 45 communities, complete with solar powered and GPS-Controlled drip irrigation system.
He said it includes agricultural mechanization equipment, full-service repair and maintenance facility for equipment, vehicles and machinery and the installation of state-of-the-art solar powered cold storage facilities for storage and processing of produce for exports.
He revealed that the innovative solutions target a minimum of seven sustainable development goals ranging from zero hunger, poverty reduction and climate action among others.
He further tanked President Barrow, the Ministry of Agriculture and Finance for their immense support in assisting them in their development agenda.
Source: The Point