Abdoulai G. Dibba
One of the issues holding back our country’s agricultural production is the inability of farmers to have access to good quality seeds.
About 80 per cent of our farmers still plant seeds saved from their own harvests as many of them do not buy seeds and do lack the correct information on the advantages of planting good quality seeds.
“These groundnut seeds are kept by me from my last year’s harvest,” said Pa Jarjue, a farmer in Kerewan, North Bank Region of the Gambia.
Some depend on donations of seeds without paying due attention to quality thus leading to germination failure.
Farmers in the Gambia are requesting the Government of the Gambia and Agricultural projects to help them with seeds, particularly rice, as most of their rice fields were flooded in the last rainy season.
According to the farmers, apart from access to land for cultivation, the other important key factor in agricultural productivity is the availability of quality seeds in order to yield good harvest.
Modou Bintou Dibba told this reporter that what they are asking the Government and Agricultural Projects to do now is to assist them with seeds. He said flood and the infestation of insects have made farmers lose their seeds and as such they are now banking on the Government, NGOs and Agricultural projects to assist them with seeds in this cropping season.
“We have no seeds for this cropping season,” revealed Mr Dibba.
Also talking to this reporter was Modou Gaye, another farmer, who explained that the rain fall pattern of last season did not allow their cereals to mature and as such they lack seeds for this cropping season.
He also called on the Government and partners to come to their aid.