and other sectors stakeholders have recently validated the Continental
Investment Plan for accelerating Rice Self-Sufficiency in Africa (CIPRiSSA)
Gambia report at the Baobab hotel in Bijilo.
Held under the theme; the road to rice self-sufficiency, the report highlighted among other things, the required investments in the six priority areas for rice self-sufficiency by 2019.
Agriculture minister Amie Fabureh said it is no secret that rice is Gambia’s staple food, saying records stated that on average, every Gambian consumes 117kg of rice per annul, which is far above the world average of 56.9kg per annul.
She said while Gambians consume that much rice, the countries national rice production is just about 17% of the people’s’ needs, leaving the country to import more than 80% of her rice needs.
Minister Fabureh said the dependency on importation to meet the national rice deficit continues to predispose the food security situation in The Gambia to the vulnerability of volatile global market trends and also deplete the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
She said while The Gambia earns 80 million United States Dollars from Tourism in 2017, it spent 74 million United States Dollars to import rice the same year. “This indicates that increase in rice production will not only ensure food security but will also go a long way in ensuring macroeconomic stability which includes stability of the national currency.”
She said launch of CIPRiSSA Gambia report will establish a clearly defined road map to rice self-sufficiency. “The report highlights the required investments in the six priority areas for rice self-sufficiency by 2019”. It also presented the additional benefits for investing in rice self-sufficiency and the long term profitability of such investments.”
She said coming on the heels of the report is her ministry’s securing of 35 million United States Dollars from the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank for implementation of a large scale rice value chain project based on a commercialization model. “This public investment coupled with various private sector investment initiatives in the rice value chain shall form the driving force for the realisation of CIPRiSSA Gambia.”