Using agriculture to stem migration flow

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Agriculture is the backbone or the mainstay of The Gambian economy- this is evidenced by numerous factors. It is estimated that about 75% of the population depends on crops and livestock for its livelihood.

Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of groundnut, fish, and animal hides.

Short-run economic progress remains highly dependent on foreign aid, and on responsible government economic management as forwarded by International Monetary Fund technical help and advice.

Therefore it is very vital to come up with projects that would attract youths’ interest in agricultural production, since agriculture is not only meant to ensure food security, but also create employment.

“Agriculture is the backbone of The Gambia not every country. You have other countries that have oil and other things. But our own, our backbone is agriculture. That is where our strength lies”, President Adama Barrow once said.

The country will, with an open arms welcome the launching of the Agriculture for Economic Growth and Food Security/Nutrition to Mitigate Migration Flows.

The four years project which is funded by the European Union will help contribute to sustainable growth in the agricultural sector and reduces food insecurity and malnutrition to mitigate migration flows to Europe.

It’s true that migration is an issue that grips not only Europe but Africa as well, considering the number of young people the continent is losing to Europe. Therefore using agriculture as a tool to stem the flow of migrants from Africa could be an important factor, but must be a way that could simply attract the young.

This nation has never shy away from proudly saying that agriculture is its backbone, but the question that remains always unanswered is what has so far been done to meaningfully make agriculture one of the most lucrative ventures for young people to venture in it.

However, this project is an ambitious project, and according to experts, it is in line with The Gambia national development priorities set to be implemented in North Bank, Lower, Central and Upper River Regions through targeted interventions, including school meals, agricultural investment and disaster risk management.

It seeks to focus on resilience building to climate change, sustainable natural resources management, market-oriented agricultural and natural resources sector development and most importantly make agriculture attractive to the youthful population.

“Under these circumstances, as the country a limited natural resource endowment, the agriculture sector should continue to be given special attention and modernized in a specific manner in order to generate growth and employment, both in the rural areas and within the value chains,” FAO Country Rep. Dr. Perpetua Katepa Kalala said of the project.

“Agriculture is the backbone or the mainstay of The Gambian economy.”
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