Women advised to lead Vision 2016 food self-sufficiency agenda (Gambia)

Women farmers in rural Gambia have been urged to take a lead role in the country’s food security drive and support the ‘Vision 2016 food self-sufficiency agenda’ of President Abdul-Aziz Jammeh and his government. The ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party was speaking at an eight-day nationwide tour intended 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 seeks to stop the country’s decades-long dependency on imported food, with a first priority on rice.
Speaking at a meeting in Kerewan, the administrative town of the North Bank Region (NBR), Women Mobiliser Isatou Jiffanga Jarju expressed hope that the V-2016 targets would be met, but was quick to instruct the women to take a leading role in the implementation process. “Since 1994, the Gambian president has been calling on fellow countrymen to consume what is grown locally, but many people did not understand at that time. Many of the sceptics who thought that his targets would 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 Gambia’s development,” she told the women. She called on the women folk to continue being proactive in their individual projects, saying they have earned the respect and admiration of the head of state. The president of the West Coast Region chapter of the National Women Federation, Aja Binta Sabally agreed that President Jammeh has done his part in terms of providing farming equipment, seeds and fertiliser to Gambians, arguing that it is now the turn of the citizens to do their part. She furthermore pledged that women of Lower Baddibou and the entire North Bank Region would always support the president in the successful attainment of his Vision 2016 target albeit appealing to the mobiliser movement 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 is of little benefit too us,” she concluded. – The Daily Observer