Farmers call for more gov’t support

Friday, August 23, 2019

Farmers in rural Gambia have renewed call for more support from the government especially in the areas of fertilizers, farming implements, seeds, training centers amongst others things.

This made this call as Minister of Agriculture Amie Fabureh continued her nationwide tour to meet with extension workers, farmers and livestock dealers and regional farmers across rural Gambia.

Modou Ida Bah, Alkalo of Pakau Njogu, NBR described the visit by the agric minister as very timely, as it was during the rainy season. He lamented that as farmers in the North Bank, they have been faced with lots of challenges, which he said, ranges from fertilizer to farming implements.

“Fertilizer is the major problem in our region especially during the rainy season. In the entire Upper Nuimi only one-person sells fertilizer, which is really not enough for us the farmers,” he said

Government, he said, should look for ways by having more agents in the regions that would sell fertilizers to farmers

For her part, Ida Secka, woman farmer in Njaba Kunda indicated that they really faced with huge problems in their farms due to the lack of farming equipment and implements like tractors, power-tillers and seeds.

“We are working tirelessly in our farms but all what we lack is support from the government. We depend on our farms and we feel that government is not doing enough to support the women farmers,” she said

The Chief of Upper Saloum, Momodou Chatty Cham indicated that farmers in his region only know how to farm, but what they lacked is the necessary support from ministry, noting that their farmers have been faced with numerous challenges.

 Maram Njie, women youth rep in Njau in CRR said the region comprises 75% youth out of which 25% are educated and that, 15% are male, noting that women youth are not educated because their parents depend on agriculture to pay for their education which she said is not now working well for their parents because they lack government support to develop their farms.

“Our parents don’t have money to send us to school because they spent all their lives on farming,” she said.

Njie thus called for the establishment of a farming training center to help develop and build the capacity of Njau women youth in agriculture

This training center, she believes, would go a long in helping youth of the region to stay and work in their region rather than going to the Kombos in search of jobs.

Saikou E Sanyang, director of Agriculture replied that they were aware of the challenges in the agriculture sector, noting their ministry is working on how to tackle some of the challenges faced by farmers in the regions

“We at the ministry have tried this year to give fertilizer to all the regions and on time compared to the previous years, but the only thing they always complain is that it is not enough for all farmers,” he divulged

According to him, they are working on the issue of fertilizers which he promised would be solved before next year.

The government through their Ministry is working out ways to solve more of the challenges faced by farmers before the start of next year’s rainy season.

Author: Arfang M.S. Camara