The People’s Republic of China on Friday donated 2,568 metric tonnes of rice to the Gambia government for free distribution in the seven
administrative regions of the country.Another consignment of 1,260 metric tonnes of donated Chinese rice is due in Banjul before end of July, according to official sources.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, the minister of Agriculture, Omar Jallow, said the rice is earmarked for the less privileged members of society.
The Gambia continues to regard China with high esteem, and considers its government and people as a strategic ally in various fields of endeavour, the minister said.
“The donation of 2,568 metric tonnes of rice, which is the staple food of Gambians, is a clear demonstration of China’s commitment to the welfare of the Gambian people. It is a further manifestation of the wide-ranging bilateral and economic ties between our two countries, as well as our close collaboration at the international and regional levels on matters of security, peace and development,” he added.
In receiving the donation on behalf of the Gambian leader, the minister for women-s affairs and overseer of the vice presidency, Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang, thanked the Chinese authorities “for a gracious gesture of this magnitude”. She assured the Chinese government, through its embassy in Banjul, of the Gambia government’s commitment to further strengthen the bilateral relations “for the mutual benefit of our two peoples”.
China-s Ambassador to The Gambia, Zhang Jiming, in response said the food aid in the form of a rice donation was announced by President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, Ma Peihua, when he visited The Gambia in February 2017.
“Travelling thousands of miles from China, the paddy rice is a symbol of China-Gambia agricultural cooperation; it conveys goodwill, friendship and compassion of the people of China to the brotherly people of The Gambia, and shows China’s strong support for the endeavour by the Gambian people to achieve food sufficiency and security. I hope it would help Gambian brothers and sisters to tide over the rainy season and embrace a bumper harvest,” ambassador Zhang added.