By MUHAMMED S. BAH
As part of activities marking International Youth Day (IYD) 2016, celebration, the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN) The Gambia (GYIN), on Sunday 28 August 2016, engaged a counterpart youth community based organisation in Foni Bullock in a farming activity.
This event, according to organisers, has brought together young people from the Kanifing Municipality, West Coast and Lower River regions to help in weeding a 40 hectares youth farm in Bullock in Foni Berefet.
“We are here today in our youth farm and the proceeds from this farm will be used for our 2017 and 2018 activities. We are praying to Allah to have a good harvest and a good rainy season,” said Momodou Edrisa Njie, ambassador of GYIN the Gambia Chapter.
Mr. Njie said the farm is not owned by GYIN, adding that there is need for them to be supported to acquire a land of their own for the purpose of farming by the young people.
“We are doing this activity to commemorate the International Youth Day,” he said, adding that “we call it self-help because we are helping ourselves as young people to see agriculture as business, and youths should venture into agriculture for self-sufficiency and sustainability.”
He thanked the NEMA, goal project for donating them with t-shirts and caps and also the National Youth Council (NYC) as well as the organisers.
Dembo Kambi, GYIN Farm Supervisor, said they are observing IYD in a productive way.
He added that this IYD will surely be a history as it will show people that youths are not lazy.
GYIN Farm Supervisor also highlighted some of the challenges they are facing, such as lack of farm inputs and even land ownership. He, however, call on partners to come and support them with the necessary farm inputs and implements. He also thanked the NEMA, NEDI and NYC.
Ebrima B. Sonko, the president of Kaponga Youth Development Association, noted that their partnership with GYIN started since last year.
“We cultivated 2 hectares of land last year and this year we were able to have at least about 20-40 hectares of land cultivated with sesame and sorrel and we hope to achieve a lot in this year’s rainy season,” he disclosed.
Hon. Bintanding Jarjue, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Foni Berefet constituency, described the young people as the cream of the nation and future leaders. She also hailed the young people for observing the IYD in this fashion.
“Youths can make a great business in agriculture, which can help eradicate the back-way syndrome,” said the Foni Berefet NAM.
For his part, Alhaji Junking Camara, the Chief of Foni Berefet district, hailed the initiative and further thanked the organisers for the initiative.
He further assured his support to allocate land in his district to the young people.
Jainaba Manjang, Programme Coordinator, called on young people to involve in farming activities for self food sufficiency and employment creation.