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Addressing food security challenges

Mar 31, 2016, 9:43 AM

It has been re-echoed that The Gambia has continued to battle with food security lapses over the years.

This situation is said to be caused by several factors, among which are low agricultural productivity, high cost of production and lack of modern techniques and technologies.

Among others, one area facing serious challenges in the agricultural life of the country is the livestock sector, according to official reports.

The snag in this sector seeks the concern of the general public, especially the corporate family and economic operators in the country, not only the government.

It is essential that more investments with well-thought out progressive business plans are carried out in the sector by both foreign and indigenous investors.

Over the years, some investors have penetrated into the livestock sector, such as the poultry business, but have had to pull out or relax their investment drive into the sector for one reason or the other.

On one hand, the government has been noted to be giving priority to agricultural and food security with firm commitment to its growth and substantial output,

The Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy for livestock pinpoints a sustainable increased production and productivity of livestock, in the country to meet at least 75% of national demands in meat and meat products and by at least 25% of milk products over present level.

On the other hand it is clear that the government still has a lot to do to put things right in the sector.

The challenges outlined as militating against food security in the country, such as low agricultural productivity, high costs of production and lack of modern techniques and technology, are not insurmountable.

It only takes proper planning and policies, as well as concerted efforts and proper investments to overcome these challenges and realize growth and improvement in the sector.

Livestock has the potential to make a significant contribution to improvement of food security, as well as to the national economy and the livelihood of the population.

It is, therefore, essential that well-thought out investment plans are strategised to overcome the challenges faced in the sector.

And this is one area where public private partnership (PPP) could make a difference.

“Livestock has the potential to make a significant contribution to improvement of food security.”

The Point