For many role of the army is to defend the country’s territorial integrity and protect the national interest. But when crisis situations unfold, even in non military situations, the armed forces are often called upon. A robust and disciplined force has the ability and the capacity to react in record time and on grand scale. The global food situation has set the stage for intense international debate as to way forward in averting a looming disaster of tragic proportions.
In the face of the current global food crisis which sends prices skyrocketing out of control, The Gambia Armed Forces is once again at the forefront in the quest for food self sufficiency. On the home front, the President and Commander-in-Chief, with a reputation for mincing no words, has manifested an unrivalled degree of commitment and a leadership by example philosophy that is gradually galvanizing the nation, the armed forces inclusive, in the drive to fill the national food basket. The President has long advocated for a return to the land. He might have foreseen the current crisis and his clarion call for a return to the land couldn’t have accidental. The underpinning of his message and his personal involvement in agriculture is to produce for ourselves, the food we need.
The initiative to create an agricultural military battalion further emonstrates the President’s resolve. For the armed forces to respond adequately augers well government’s food security initiative.
The Commander-in-Chief has never spent his annual August vacation abroad. He abandons the comforts of the state House and retires to his home village of Kanilai in Foni Kansala, where farming dominates his activities.
The President is driven by a natural passion for farming and a burning desire, care and determination to spearhead his vision to achieve food sufficiency for his people. Besides, the rains were waiting for no one and time was at a premium.
Probably, the greatest surprise and most encouraging move with regard to this year’s presidential retreat, is the participation of the entire first family in agriculture. If a Commander-in-Chief should personally sacrifice the whole of his annual leave to spearhead the drive for national food self sufficiency, what should the Armed Forces and Security Services do? Taking que from their leaders, the rest of the Gambia Armed Forces initiated various farming projects in