FOOD SECURITY: FARMERS TETE-A-TETE WITH AGRIC MINISTER

Abdoulai G.Dibba

Farmers in the North Bank, Central River and Lower River Region have informed the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Omar A. Jallow, that there cannot be food security in the Gambia without increased productivity and there cannot be increased productivity in the absence of seeds, fertilizer, farm implements and enough water for the crops.

Apart from the above stated constraints, farmers lamented on storage facilities, processing, packaging and marketing of their products, as problems confronting them.

They called on the Minister of Agriculture to assist them address their constraints to ensure food self-sufficiency in the Gambia.

The farmers made these assertions during the tour of the Minister of Agriculture from the 23 to 26 of May 2017, when he visited on-going project sites under his Ministry’s purview.

Responding to farmers, the Minister of Agriculture, Omar Amadou Jallow, said that the sector needs to be reformed to bring back cooperative societies as they were in the 1960s.

He said Agriculture needs to be commercialized to boost all year around production in order to make farmers busy for the whole year, like other workers in other sectors.

Mr. Jallow alias OJ, said the form of Agriculture that allows farmers to work for five months and sit for seven months, will never lead to food security and poverty eradication.

He said his Ministry will approach the private sector so that the Ministry of Agriculture will enter into a public private partnership to address constraints associated with processing, storage and packaging, and the marketing of all farm produce, will be a thing of the past.