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GAMBIA: BARROW UNVEILS FIRST-EVER SMART FARMING PROJECT

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On Friday, President Adama Barrow formally introduced the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation’s (NFSPMC) first-ever Smart Farming initiative in collaboration with TIJMS Trading International BV.

The historic project launch, the first of its sort since Liberia’s 1965 declaration of independence, took place in Banjul’s July 22nd Square. With the launch of the smart farming project, it is hoped to reduce young unemployment, which is considered as a brave move toward food self-sufficiency and will help to enhance the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign currency revenues.


To ensure the quality and quantity of output at the source, the initiative aims to delve deeper into the agricultural production value chain.

Additionally, it aims to compete with foreign merchants in a sector that is rapidly expanding, necessitating the urgent need to innovate local processes, add value to Gambia-made goods, and create the necessary networks to sell such goods at an optional level.
President Barrow spoke at the event and hailed it as the fulfillment of his solemn pledge to the Gambian people.

“In my last inauguration speech, I solemnly and sincerely swore allegiance to the Gambian people. After serving as President for five years, my comprehension of the issues facing our people and the functioning of the government greatly aided in my ability to carry on the promises I made to the populace.

He said, “My oath and the speech that followed were the result of careful contemplation and evaluation of the accomplishments and faults of my administration during my first term in office.

“Considering my obligations as the head of state, I have since decided that my administration must work tirelessly to secure assistance and make the most of the resources at our disposal in order to realize our national vision and commitments.”
While the Sustainable Development strategy 2030 and Agenda 2063 serve as a roadmap for our development efforts, “my government understands that we, as a country, must focus our development agenda on our local context,” he said.

“We created the 2018-2021 National Development Plan, which was followed by the current Green Recovery Focused National Development Plan, to contextualize our development efforts and increase public engagement. These initiatives seamlessly fit into our long-term Vision 2050, he said.

However, President Barrow emphasized that the advancements at NFSPMC are evidence of what he said could be accomplished with effective management that is backed by strategic planning and imaginative government leadership.

He emphasized the need for collaborative institutional efforts in strengthening the sectors, with a focus on people’s aspirations, and expressed excitement for the project’s successful execution since it would give the required roadmap for achieving food sovereignty.
Barrow praised TIJMS Trading International for their collaboration and said that his administration will use every resource at its disposal to make sure that this effort was successful and benefited all parties concerned.

He came to the conclusion that “The Gambia will someday become a light of hope and glory with unity and such backing. We may serve as an example of how a country can succeed when its citizens work together to advance a common goal of becoming “Unified in Purpose, Unified in Strength, and Unified in Development.”
The executive director of the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation, Muhammed Njie, said that the smart farming program includes a fully operational smart farming concept for 45 towns, replete with a solar-powered and GPS-Controlled drip irrigation system.

He said that it included the construction of cutting-edge solar powered cold storage facilities for the storage and processing of products for exports, full-service repair and maintenance facilities for equipment, vehicles, and machinery.

He said that the creative ideas aim to achieve at least seven sustainable development objectives, including eradicating hunger and combating poverty.

He also thanked President Barrow, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Finance for all of their help in advancing their development goal.

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