Vision 2016 is a laudable call; but the approach is not appropriate. It calls for a national approach where all efforts, be it financial or otherwise be channeled into government coffers; in this case to be specific the department of Agriculture.
Of recent we have seen a lot of deployment of soldiers as farm managers and leading all the operations on President Jammeh’s farms in the name of attaining vision 2016.
The president’s efforts are most welcome as a farmer but those farms are private farms and one would think no government civil servant should be paid out of the public coffers to work on those farms.
In the entire region’s most of the agricultural experts are divisional agricultural workers and are supposed to be paid by the department of agriculture. Many of the rice fields are in the Central River Region and other parts of the country; where looking at the television coverage many of those experts are employees of the department t of Agriculture as their designations show on the news footages.
The Daily News believes that if all Gambians have such a number of farms as the President has; we will certainly have self-sufficiency in food. But the farms should all be purely private and not call it private and yet have government officials, including Gambia National Army men working on them at the cost of the state.
Also it would be better if those working on these farms are paid; by that way it will provide employment for our youth folk ; off course can go to some length discouraging the Back Way syndrome.
However what is clear is that the bulk of the job is based on voluntarism; as the president himself in on the national television calling for help a few days ago.
The Daily News suggests, if President Jammeh could have put part of some of the thousands of cash giving to singers and other people into accounts of his different farms across the country; and the farm managers use those monies to pay for the labour; certainly by doing so the President will be providing employment for the youths and other people in the breath and length of the Gambia.
We called on the private sector to go into farming and provide employment.