As the nation reels from the impact of the 2011-2012 crop failure in which more than 70 percent of the total crop production was lost due to erratic and poorly distributed rainfall, soldiers at the Fajara Barracks have begun ploughing and sowing in earnest as part of their 2012 anti-hunger crusade. Led by their camp commander, Lt. Col. Babucarr Sanyang, the exercise saw the soldiers planting groundnuts in a three-hectare farm opposite the Barracks.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer at the farm, Lt. Colonel Sanyang expressed optimism that if all go as planned they will register a bumper harvest at the end of the season. Commenting on why they sowed early, he explained that the groundnut variety they were cultivating is one that can be due for harvest within a period of two and half months. "Once we harvest the groundnut, we will till the soil again and sow watermelon," he disclosed.
He described their undertaking as very significant to their food needs, stating that as a commander, he knows how much is spent on feeding the troops at the Barracks, especially when it comes to groundnut paste. "Groundnut is rich in diet and I realised that we spend a lot of money in purchasing the ground paste, hence this farming will be a supplement," he said.
The Fajara Barracks commander also urged other units of the army to emulate them.Adding his voice to this development, the public relations officer of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) Captain Abdoulie Mboob, described the back-to-the-land call of the Gambian leader as a good initiative, while recalling the support rendered to the army last year in the form of tractors by their commander-in-chief to enhance their agricultural undertakings.