The Agriculture Minister Mrs. Amie Fabureh has call on donors’ partners and other stakeholders to support the farming community in the country. The Hon. Minister made this call on Wednesday 1st April 2020 in a stakeholders meeting in her officer in Banjul attended by officials from World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
In a statement at the meeting, the Hon. Minister told stakeholders that In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, different sectors of the economy are affected including agriculture. She pointed out that about 80% of the population drive their livelihoods from agricultural production activities. ‘Coronavirus disease 19 exposing the population to high risk of food and nutrition insecurity with far reaching consequences especially on rural households,’ the Minister said.
According to the Minister, the pre-harvest report 2019/2020 coincided with COVID 19 and that has made farmers more vulnerable. ‘Presently the 2020/2021 cropping season is already affected due to 2019/2020 drought and the aftermath has coincided with COVID 19,’ Hon. Fabureh said.
With the current situation, the Minister said her ministry is anticipating that farmers will use seeds reserved for planting as food and sell the rest to generate income to buy other essential food commodities.
The Hon. Minister pointed out that due to the precarious situation affecting the farming fraternity, quantity of different certified seeds would be required to address the plights of farmers in The Gambia.
The minister called on the donor’s partners to support her ministry to address food insecurity of high vulnerable communities based on the pre-harvest report and support to farming inputs, seeds and fertilizer for 2020/2021 cropping season among other things.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Momodou Mbye Jabang lamented on the challenges facing the farming community in the country. He call on stakeholders to do everything possible to help farmers to overcome the impact of COVID 19 on farmers.
By: Momodou Kanteh, Communication Officer