Abdoulie G. Dibba
The President of the North Bank Region Nerica Rice Growers
Association, Sambou Dampha, disclosed to Farmers’ Eye that the current
rainy season is promising to those who have seeds on time and also
land to cultivate.Mr Dampha made these assertions in a telephone interview on Friday, 14
August, 2015 with this columnist as he later embarked on an
assessment of the impact of the rains on the current cropping season so far.
According to Mr.Dampha, his association received their rice seed in
the month of August which he described as late. He stated that the
best time for farmers to receive seeds are in the months of May or
June. This is what is known as timely availability of seeds, he added.
NBR Nerica Rice Growers Association’s President noted that with the
timely availability of seeds, a farmer will be confident of the
hectarage he or she will have to clear for cultivation and make
preparations for the farming season; otherwise it will turn out to be a gamble.
Apart from the seeds, the other constraint that farmers are facing in
this region is salt intrusion into rice fields, he said. Dampha added
that salt intrusion has led to scarcity of rice fields in the region
compelling many farmers not to cultivate their requirement.
According to Sambou Dampha, the salt intrusion has penetrated the rice
fields of Jajary, India, Illiassa, Juman Sarr, Jali Kunda, Alkali
Kunda, Kachang and other catchment areas.
He pointed out that the salt intrusion into the rice fields is a great
threat to rice self-sufficiency in the region because the region has
no irrigation scheme for rice production. He called on the Government
and non-governmental organisations to come to their aid by intervening
to prevent the salt intrusion.
In conclusion, Dampha thanked the president for his Ramadan gift to
the Gambian people in the form of sugar and rice and prayed for his
long life and good health.
Abdoulie G. Dibba