Abdoulai G. Dibba
Farmers in North Bank, Central River, Upper River and Lower River Region of the Gambia have decried the mode of distribution of the FAO seeds and fertilizer.
The farmers made these lamentations during the tour of this reporter from the 17 to the 21 of July 2017.
According to them, even though the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation had assisted them with seeds and fertilizer, the mode of distribution is questionable as some deserving farmers do not have access to the farm inputs.
Modou Njie of Madina in Niumi indicated that the general saying now is food security but “there cannot be food security in the Gambia without increased productivity and there cannot be increased productivity in the absence of seeds and fertilizer and during the tour of the Minister of Agriculture, they informed him of these issues which is key to productivity.
However Mr Njie said the seeds and fertilizer that were brought in the district were distributed to few farmers and “we do not know the mode of distribution used by the distributors”.
With regard to fertilizer been sold by the National Food Security Processing and Marketing Corporation, previously known as GGC, the reduction in the price is welcomed but accessibility is a problem.
He said even though the price of fertilizer has been reduced from Nine Hundred and Fifty Dalasis (D950) to Seven Hundred Dalasis (D700) per 50kg bag, because of its inaccessibility, they end up spending D800 to D850 per bag due to transportation cost.
Modou called on the government to assist them to access the fertiliser to make the reduction of the price relevant to the farmers.
“The seeds and fertilizer given by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is meant for the Farmers but its mode of distribution was not known to most farmers in the Illiassa District and as the representative of the rice farmers’ association and a board member of the National Farmers’ Platform I was not aware of the distribution” said Sambou Dampha.
A farmer in Wuli East Upper River Region Alkali Jatta informed this medium that he does not know how the seeds and fertilizer given by United Nations Food and others were distributed in his district.
However, commenting on the rains, he said they have witnessed a short dry spell in the region which affected the germination of some crops which led to re-planting.
Baboucar Kanteh of Brikamaba Central River Region told this medium that he has benefited from the seeds and fertilizer donated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization seeds and fertilizer as he has already received 30 kilogrammes of shelled nuts though when he unshelled the nuts, he had 20 kilogrammes.
He added that not all the farmers in his district benefitted.
Follow Farmers’ Eye for a detailed report of the views of farmers and the responds of Regional Agricultural Directorates on the issues.
KMC reschedules topographical survey of Bakoteh Dumpsite
The CEO of Kanifing Municipal Council, Pa Kalifa Sanyang, yesterday 25 July 2017 informed Foroyaa that the topographical survey of the Bakoteh Dumpsite scheduled for last Thursday will now take place next Thursday, 27 July 2017.
At a meeting behind closed doors on 17 July 2017 between the KMC and the communities of Bakoteh and Manjai, the parties agreed to converge at the dumpsite to conduct a topographic survey.
Mr Sanyang said circumstances beyond their control compelled them to postpone the survey.
He expressed the concern of the KMC for the communities of Bakoteh and Manjai.
A representative of the communities said he did not know about the postponement, and if such has to happen they have to inform them.
He said he is surprised that the survey is re-scheduled.