Gambia: Fifty Youths to Be Trained On Rice Agronomy

The Youth Ministry plans to train 50 young people on rice agronomy which is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber and land restoration.

The training will be delivered through a standard curriculum developed by National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and National Youth Service Scheme, and it will be accredited by National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority.

Hadrammeh Sidibeh, Minister of Youth and Sports, speaking during a site visit at Sapu Agricultural Camp in Central River Region South said young people are the cream of the society, who need motivation and encouragement to grow.

He said his ministry's vision is to make sure that young people are engaged in meaningful and sustainable development.

"We intend to minimize rural-urban migration because if young people in the rural area are not engaged, ultimately they would come to the urban area, then later engage in illegal migration," he said.

The Youth and Sports minister revealed that the Ministry will be responsible for the up-keep, as well as tuition fees for all the 50 beneficiaries.

He called on young people to venture into agriculture, noting that it is the backbone of the country, and the only viable food self-sufficiency scheme.

Emmanuel Mendy, Executive Director of National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) said

his office has been engaged in the processes of training young people on rice agronomy production in Sapu for the past four years. These, he reveals, is what motivated his office to inspire his line ministry to expand the project to a higher level.

"Young people should be responsible for the development of the country; it cannot move without the involvement of youth in agriculture," he said.

He went on saying agriculture is a big employer and that if young people are involved, it will help reduce youth unemployment in the country.

Momodou Sambou, the station manager at National Agricultural Research Institute in Sapu thanked NYSS through its line Ministry for reintroducing the project.

Other speakers were Haddy Joof and Borry Fatty, who were both NYSS recruits in 2000. They both called on young people to venture into rice agronomy, pointing out that not all are meant for the office.

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