Humanitarian Opportunity for People Empowerment (HOPE), has provided 1,700 seedlings to the Saliya Camara family of Chamundin village in the Upper Nuimi District, North Bank Region, 1,500 seedlings to Marong family of Ndofan village in the Lower Nuimi District, North Bank Region and 2,000 seedlings was given to Alhagie Saidykhan family of Farafenni Village in the Illiassa District, North Bank Region.
The Chief Executive Officer of MM Trading, the parent body of HOPE, Farmang Mane, said the partnership took the form of an MoU which seeks to boost the current efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture in its drive to revitalise and transform the agricultural sector.
He said the MoU further seeks to fully develop the cashew market and the benefits that accrue to the Gambian people through the organisation of cooperative societies and Gambian businesses in the marketing of cashew into processing and other value adding activities.
In the spirit of this MoU, CEO Mane said MM Trading shall collaborate with the local cooperatives and the Cashew Growers Association and other stakeholders such as the local government authorities to initiate a five-year 10,000 hectare National Cashew Plantation Programme with the development of 2,000 hectares per year.
The planting of 1000 cashew saplings/hectares and the parties have agreed to work with the local communities and cooperative societies to protect the cashew plantations over the 4-year maturity period before harvesting commences at year 5.
He said MM Trading deemed it fit to work with Young Dynamic Farmers Association with a view to forge strategic and meaningful partnership with the Cashew Buyers Association as well as a broad range of community-based organisations active in this line of operation.
CEO Mane asserted that the overall objective was to plant one million cashew trees and that the fifty thousand should be planted before the end of the rainy season.
Mr Mane said to further strengthen its relationship with MM Trading, an MoU has been signed and the objective of the MoU is to pool resources both financial and manpower to plant one million trees across the country within the next five years.
"MM Trading is responsible for financial support and other logistics," he stated.
"I really want to contribute my quota to national development and also to support the youth and the wider community. This way we can achieve national development and discourage them not to embark on this dangerous back way to Europe," MM Trading CEO stressed.
The coordinator of Young Dynamic Farmers Association, Babou Kebbeh, said his association was coordinating the HOPE project and called on youth to seize the opportunity to develop themselves and their country instead of risking their lives to travel to Europe through back way.