Importers, others question vegetable importation ban

By Sailu Bah
Following the presidential statement, during the state opening of the
National assembly recently, in which the President stated that
importation of the most common vegetables will be banned with effectfrom 1st March 2015, this reporter went to talk to some major
Suppliers, distributors, as well as importers, on Wednesday 4 March
2015 in Banjul.
Speaking to some of them, Mamadou Bobo Jallow, a major supplier
confirmed that he heard the statement of the president. He was asked
whether Gambian producers could meet the market demands for onions,
carrot, potatoes etc. He responded that it may be possible but raised
question of quality and handling.
“Many times people buy imported vegetables instead of local ones
because of quality and the way they are handled.”
Alhagie Jallow, also a retailer reiterated similar comments and added
if the local producers could provide quality product it will help to
develop the economy.
He further urged government to work on ensuring that the locally produced vegetables meet international standard.
Similar sentiments were reiterated by some of the importers who
expressed the hope that the local producers would be able to deliver
the needs of the market.
This reporter could read skepticism as to whether sufficient
groundwork has been done to meet the needs of the market.
This reporter will still make effort to meet with the officials at the Ministry of
trade to find out what they have in place to implement the government
policy.