Civil servants descend on President Jammeh’s farm

Monday, November 10, 2008
As harvesting on President Yahya Jammeh’s farm gets more and more intensified, hundreds of civil servants, over the weekend, descended on the president’s Kanilai rice field, in Foni Bondali, where they took part in the harvesting of the Nerica rice variety he cultivated.

Led by Mrs Teneng Bah - Jaiteh, the secretary general and head of the civil service, they demonstrated a veritable commitment in responding to President Jammeh’s appeal.

The president’s farming activities also drew a group of volunteers belonging to various associations in the country.

Speaking to the Daily Observer, Mrs Teneng Bah-Jaiteh described their mobilisation as an illustration of the readiness of the civil service in aiding the Gambian leader in his mission of putting agriculture at the centre stage of the development process.

She spoke at length about the ambitious farming activities of the president, noting that it demonstrates his untiring commitment to the cause of attaining food self-sufficiency within a short period.

Feeling impressed by the performance of the president’s farm, she expressed optimism about this year’s rainy season, and she predicted that it would register bumper harvest.

Food self sufficiency, according to her, is achievable in the Gambia considering the fact that the country has a lot of potential to ensure that "agriculture is basically grassroots based in the country and what we want to see is the policy orientation of the government responding to that need of the people." She indicated that from 2009 the country will be planning and embarking on a more decentralized agricultural system.
For his part, Momodou Kotu Cham, the secretary of state for forestry and the environment, said he was equally impressed with the president’s farming activities. He lauded the efforts deployed by civil servants and the volunteers in harvesting the rice field.

Mr Abdoulie Sallah, secretary to cabinet, Office of the President, recalled that the president has, since 1996, been making declarations for the people to go back to the land. He called on Gambians to reinforce this call and venture into agriculture so as to enable the country become self-sufficient.

Lieutenant Seedy Baldeh, coordinator of Kanilai Farms, applauded the volunteers for responding highly to the president’s call.  He called on other Gambians to emulate them.

Author: by Hatab Fadera