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Agric. Minister Launches the African Emergency Food Production Facility

The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Demba Sabally, on Friday 23rd September 2022 launched the African Emergency Food Production Facility (AEFPF). The facility is supported by the African Development Bank through the Rice Value Chain Transformation Project (RVCTP).The AEFPF is additional financing that follows the joint meeting of the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Finance of the African Union on the African Emergency Food Production plan in which The Gambia participated. Speaking at the launching ceremony, Dr. Sabally informed the gathering that the Government of The Gambia is taking major strides to transform the Agriculture sector in addressing food security and meeting the nutritional needs of its people.He noted The Gambia’s high dependence on imports for staple and key commodities and said it has deepened the country’s vulnerability to external shocks such as global pandemics and crises.  

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President Barrow wraps meetings in URR

The President H.E Adama Barrow wrapped up his Meet the People Tour in the Upper River Region with a meeting in Koli Bantang in Wuli West, which was also attended by constituents from Wuli East and Sandu.Issues surrounding agriculture,  road infrastructure,  electricity and horticulture dominated the agenda with speakers calling on government to increase investments to help local communities. The Lady councillor Fatoumata Saho led the chorus, commending the President for the numerous developments that have transformed the region. The youth representative Yorro Camara and Fansainey Barrow called for more government support to enhance agricultural production in the region,  arguing that the URR has the potential to produce enough to meet the needs of the people. As the prices of basic foodstuff increases beyond the reach of ordinary people,  Fansainey Barrow called for a radical shift to boost local production. Mbemba Jabbi also appealed to government to revise the tariff at the Samba Juma bridge as the toll is deemed too high for local drivers, and commuters who now use boats to cross the river.Chief Momodou Bah of Wuli West expressed gratitude to the President for what he called his commendable response to current coat of living crisis, which he attributed to external factors, urging Gambians to turn these challenges into opportunities.The Governor of the Upper River Region Samba Bah said his region has seen unprecedented developments under President Barrow, urging people to nurture the prevailing peace and stability. The Governor said several rural communities in the region have benefitted from the NAFAA cash transfer initiative designed to reduce poverty amongst farmers, whilst also revealing plans to construct a regional hospital in Giroba Kunda.The Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure Ebrima Sillah said the next five years will be momentous for the URR as studies have already been completed for the construction of half a dozen feeder roads across the region. He road projects, the Minister added will be funded from the national budget in line with the President's development agenda which priorities infrastructure as the engine of economic growth. The Minister of Regional Government and Lands Abba Sanyang expressed concern with the indiscriminate dumping of waste in public places, adding that government is exploring possibilities of re-introducing the monthly cleansing exercises across the country.  The Lands Minister also urged local communities to resolve land related disputes peacefully, as these conflicts could upend the existing peace and stability in the country.The President H.E Adama Barrow closed the meeting, commending the people of Wuli and Sandu for the impressive turnout.  The President harped on the importance of dialogue in fostering understanding amongst people,  describing the tour ad an important platform for exchange of views on national development. The President said his government has laid a robust foundation for socio-economic and infrastructural development,  adding that the next five years will usher in more opportunities for citizens. With the groundnut trade season beginning on December 1st, President Barrow announced that government has increased the price of a ton from D28000 to D3200, to help farmers. Speaking about the current economic situation,  President Barrow blamed the covid19 pandemic for disrupting supply chains across the world leading to a rise in prices of basic commodities,  but reassured that government has taken adequate steps to stabilise prices. Responding to appeals for more electricity access, President Barrow revealed that more than 200 villages will get electricity in URR.The President also addressed concerns raised by some speakers about the recent introduction of a toll at the Samba Juma bridge,  saying the fee is justified to enable government raise funds for the upkeep of the bridge. The construction of the bridge,  President Barrow added has made life easier for residents as it is safer, quicker and cheaper compared to the boats. He therefore advised communities to take ownership of the bridge and shun detractors who are bent on inciting people against the government, using social media as part of a wider political campaign. The President concluded by reassuring people that the funds generated will be used for development purposes to serve the welfare of Gambians.The tour continues in the CRR with planned meetings in Jarreng and Bansang.

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President Barrow promises to construct more roads in the Upper river region

President Adama Barrow has promised to construct more roads and bring electricity to communities in Tumana, kantora, Basse and Jimara constituencies by 2025. This he said will cover over 95 percent of the communities in the area.  He made the promise at meetings in Chamoi in the Tumana District and his home town of Makamang Kunda in Jimara in response to numerous requests for more roads and electricity. President Barrow returned Gratitude to the people for renewing his mandate as president. He highlighted numerous developments made by his administration in education, health, agriculture and  infrastructure amongst other sectors of the economy. President Barrow added that over 45 communities in Tumana and over 30 communities in kantora  as well as dozens of others in Basse and Jimara constituencies will be electrified by 2025.  The Gambian Leader called on the people to embrace agriculture particularly rice production for  food and nutrition security. This he said is the best way to ensure food self sufficiency amid global economic crisis. President Barrow disclosed that his government had secured funds to invest in agricultural inputs and the purchase of groundnuts. He assured farmers that there will no credit buying of their nuts this season. In addition to the distribution of cereal and vegetable seeds his government he added will construct several gardens in some communities in the Upper River Region.The president also handed over a cheque for over 1.7  million dalasi to the women earmarked for 18 women groups in Tumana and Kantora as part of the government funded women enterprise fund meant to improve women's economic status. As he embarked on his nationwide tour the President held his first ever meeting in his home town of Makamang kunda where was received by a large crowd. At various meetings, community leaders, youth and women representatives took turns to return gratitude to the President and his government for what they described as unprecedented socio-economic and infrastructural development in their respective areas. This they say include the construction of roads, bridges, schools, health facilities and improved access to electricity in rural communities. They however appealed for more feeder roads, water projects, agricultural inputs, youth empowerment and improve security among other developments.The Minister of Fisheries and water Resources Musa Drammeh disclosed that government is set to construct over twenty-eight boreholes in Upper River Region by the end of 2023. The Minister of Agriculture Demba Sabally said government will soon start the construction of a dairy plant in Basse, and small ruminants markets and abattoirs in major settlements across the Upper River Region. The Minister of Lands and Regional Government Sheriff Abba Sanyang called on Gambians to nurture peace stability and Social cohesion. Minister Sanyang warned against the abuse of natural resources such as land and forests and called on loacal authorities to ensure their protection. The tour continues with meetings in wuli and other parts of Central River Region.

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President Barrow holds meeting at Ndugu kebbeh

President Adama Barrow has said that the harsh economic conditions in the country were as a result of global economic crisis. The President made these remarks at meeting at Ndugu kebbeh as he embark on a nationwide tour. He said his government is working hard in trying to alleviate the situation. The President said his government has procured food items which were now being sold at a reduced price. He expressed gratitude to the people who recognised his government's efforts in developing the country. He told farmers that the buying price of groundnuts has been increased this year and urged farmers to sell their nuts to the Gambia. The president told the gathering that his visit was not a political campaign but to dialogue with the people.  

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A THRIVING COASTAL ECONOMY

 Gambia’s Coastal zones particularly areas in the country’s coastal south are endowed with immense natural resources shaping multiple livelihood ventures for communities and people from all over the sub region. Ecological resources especially those in the country’s vast marine ecosystems are Critical to the population with a viable natural landscape emerging as a major focus for a sustainable blue economy agenda.Kartong is, one of the busiest coastal vicinities with a stable ecological attraction, a bustling eco tourism hub and fisheries centre perfectly placed to nurture the economic environment of the coast.Settled on a narrow strip of land, kartong’s riverside is a robust economic vicinity attracting an appealing variety of ventures., most men and women here are in the fisheries business.Fisherfolk trading different products are making ends meet from massive catches, and a chunk of the supplies are bought by  women merchants in the fish business.The coastal area offers a variety of opportunities for employment and, some young men make a profit from the knitting of fishnets while readymade nets are sold to fisherfolk.Women are in the fish-smoking business, they get their fish supplies from fish trawlers and process products into smoked fish and salted dried fish which form a major part of the national diet.Women constitute a high percentage of the fish business in kartong but sometimes sales are less lucrative and women are usually left with little or no alternatives when business hits rock bottom.Fish products processed here are supplied to various fish markets or sold to women who come here to buy stocks for domestic meals.The lack of facilities amid other challenges is massively hindering the output of their business ventures as these women solely rely on fisheries to make ends meet.Women like Isatou Madeline Jarjue are engrossed in the oyster business, she and other women are making a sustainable living from the venture.This could be a dangerous venture. The sharp oyster cells have caused injuries for many women and high tides have also caused countless disasters. But some visionary projects are providing support for Isatou and her colleagues.Apart from the fish business, Eco-tourism is rapidly growing on this side of the river, the coastal zone has an incredible natural landscape giving business opportunities for tourism enthusiasts.Dodou Saidy has an established restaurant, functioning on a narrow strip of land attracting local and international visitors.The kartong halain area is rapidly growing into people’s favorite eco tourism vicinity with sumptuous seafood delights served to customers.Dodou’s restaurant attracts tourists who often visit to enjoy a serene environment and enjoy local dishes and the owner relies on catches from the river for his business but high prices and little quantity of stocks often challenge his business.Sulayman Bojang is in the cruising business guiding tourists during boat rides.The industry is taking off as kartong turns into a major tourist hotspot.The coastal residents rely on natural resources for food and income and a preserved marine  ecology means more opportunities for the communiry which is keenly protecting its resources.

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President Barrow holds meeting at Makkah Farafenni.

President Adama Barrow says his government will construct the road at Makkah Farafenni. The President made these remarks at well attended rally at Makkah Farafenni as part of his countrywide tour. He also promised to bring electricity in the area and reiterated that the harsh economic situation is as a result of global crisis. President Barrow said he will continue to work for the Gambian people even after leaving office. He told farmers that the groundnut trade season this year would be a pleasant one as the buying price has been increased by four thousand dalasis. He therefore urged farmers to sell their nuts to the Gambia government.He reminded farmers that government had subsidised fertilisers to make it easy for farmers. The President disclosed that development partners such as the world Bank would provide funds for the purchase of fertiliser for the coming farming season. He therefore encouraged farmers to increase rice cultivation to enable the country to feed itself. President Barrow also said his government is taking over the just concluded Tekki fee project and said the aim is to create employment for young people.He decried the lack of interest in vocational training institutes as unfortunate. He sighted the President's International Award training centre in Kerewan where he said the centre is struggling to attract students.

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THE RISE OF MODEST FASHION: MODEST MODELING AGENCY STAGES FIRST ISLAMIC FASHION SHOW The quest to Give modesty a viable space and representation on the runway gains strength in the

 Gambia as fashion houses move to embrace Islamic style trends.Part of the youth wave driving style trends, Modest fashion is tremendously evolving in the local fashion industry, with the first ever runway event showcasing latest hijabi designs featuring Islamic dress modes and modest fashion enthusiasts.Pioneered by young Fatima Muloshi and her modest modeling agency specialized in promoting hijabi fashion to diversify the runaway.Making it a cultural appeal and unifying platform, organisers aim to broaden Islam fashion to dispel stereotypes.The exquisite display of unique fashion pieces gives the modest niche show infinite power in the growing fashion market.The rare stage affair was graced by modest fashion influencers like Fatoumatta Ceesay, widely called Fatisha, uses online platforms to showcase her love for modest fashion.The runway is also creating a spotlight for modest apparel designers to exhibit their brands, giving them exposure to a new economic opportunity.For these young ladies, blending a little fashion in modest clothing is an opportunity to reclaim feminity. The trend is hugely altering stereotypical understanding of Muslim apparels and showpiece for all identities.Events like this underscore the new dawn in fashion industry embracing diversity and despite the hitches, the modeling agency is persistent in putting Islamic fashion on the spotlight

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